"Even without success, creative persons find joy in a job well done. Learning for its own sake is rewarding."

8 Sep 2014

Another configuration box! (Cutting file)

This was another project I started doing on holiday (vacation). This time its more of a summer/ beach theme being as my holiday location was in a beach town in Cornwall.

I bought the house shape box from a local discount store ( Buyology). I coloured it with Ranger distress inks Evergreen Bough and Mustard seed. I had to use a brush to get into the corners of the squres. I lined the house with paper that came free with a magazine. I can't rememebr what the paper was.

I stamped a few text around the box with some brown archival ink. The contents if the boxes were  either bought ( fish, shells and compass) in shops we visited  or made  ( life belt, anchor and bows). The e blue heart I took with me and is from another configuration box I made ages ago and I decided I didn't like so took it apart again.

The leaves are a ribbon I found in the cake making section of a hardware store we visited again during our holiday.
The compass is adhered to a cork from a wine bottle we had. It brought the compass forward because it looked a bit lost at the back of the box section.
I made the anchor today  to finish it off. I cut it with my Pazzles from chipboard added some dimensional paint and covered it with copper wax guilt from Treasure. The anchor has plaited twine around it.

The life belt was made by cutting out the circles and adhering the red to the white circle. I used my bone folder to curve the belt. I then wrapped some twine around it.
The shell in the left was placed on some netting to resemble fishing net and a few beads were glued to it to add interest.
The bows are again made from twine just to bring it all together and there you have it finished!

If you would like the anchor cutting file you can download it from HERE


6 Sep 2014

Silhouette Pixscan mat

I bought a Silhouete Cameo Pixscan mat and it arrived yesterday so of course I've had a little play with it.
I personally didn't find it as straight forward as the company make out. I had difficulty getting the lighting correct so the camera could  produced a good quality photo of the calibration page. Once that was done properly fair play the software identified my camera which was good.
I tried to cut out some things using the camera method and I was very disappointed. It took a few attempts for the machine to recognise the registration marks but I finally got there.   The cut was a little off on one cut but way off on another.
As you can see in my photo the heart inside the circle was cut  sligthly lower (1.5mm) than the actual shape.

The bird on the heart was 3mm off the design. The shape should have been all pink but as you can see its not!
I cut another heart and again it was about 1mm off line. This was a black hear with apink pattern in the centre but the edge on one side showed the white surrounding paper.

I figured that maybe the fault was in  the way I took a photo of the mat.

I thought it might be better to use my printer scanner instead. I followed the instructional video given by Graphtec but my scanner wasn't even detected by the software so that was a total failure.

I'll reserve judgement on this Pixscan until I've asked on a few forums and given it a few tries..........

How has anyone else got on with it???


2 Sep 2014

Nanny's boys album

I've been on holiday (vacation) for the last two weeks. It was a lovely relaxing time and I did manage to do some crafting.
Unfortunately I didn't have all the tools and stash with me to complete the three projects I started. Its something I can finish now I'm back home.

Well sort of because I'm also back in work after the summer break. They next few weeks will be busy meeting my new students and sorting out their work so I hope to fit in some crafting as well!

Tonight I finished constructing a mini album for my mother in law. I want to update the photos she has of her great grandsons especially as they are now turning two.

The album is a simple one with pages and cover bound with the "Bind it all. I used the Papermania dots and stripes collection. Its nice and bright so suitable for young photos.

I just used cereal packet cardboard for the covers. I cut out the lettering and mat using my Pazzles. It seems to be giving me a much cleaner cut since I replace the cutting strip. The flower and picture are things I had in my stash.I used the Bind It Al to cut some holes on the open end  and threaded some green ribbon through the holes to use as closures.

The pages were 12 x 12 papers folded in half and adhered  around the edges. I matted the pages  with plain paper because using  more patterned paper would be too much.

 I used stickers and pictures  to decorate each page. each page and drew various patterns around the edges of the mats. Of course I tried to use pictures that showed the  grandson's interests. One grandson loves Thomas the Tank engine and the other one just loves his cars!!

For the inserts I kept to the same theme. I cut out them from the left over dots and strips and again  mated them with plain paper and decorated them in the same way as the pages. Again I decorated them with what ever stickers and pictures I had left in my stash.
You'll have to excuse the pictures for some reason my computer wouldn't let me rotate them! That's my excuse anyway LOL

All I need to do to finish it completely  is to buy some ink cartridges for my printer, print off some photos and add them to the album .

 Its nice to do some albums again.  I have another one to finish but that's for another post.............. stay tuned folks


12 Aug 2014

Configuration box.

I decided to make a configuration box after spotting a wooden box in a local bargain store. The quality of the box was really good. I coloured it using  salty ocean and mowed lawn distress inks from Ranger.

I lined each section with paper from either Papermania or Docrafts prints collection. I've had the pad for ages and of course I can't find it  to let you know now I've tidied up.... typical!!!
Most of the other elements I had in my stash and had bought from a different bargain shop ages ago. I had some flowers left over from my hydrangea project so I made them into a basket of flowers and adhered them to a section with hot glue.  The button is from my mother's button box and I coated them with bronze gilding wax.  The lettering came free with a magazine. I filled the bottles with beads from my stash and tied some black raffia around the neck.  The lace butterfly was from an old hair band. I simply added elements to each section fixing them with my glue gun. The whole thing reminds me of my mother because she loved flowers and was very creative and was especially skilled with anything to do with sewing. It was the second anniversary of her passing last week and as I said in a previous post we've been sorting out  her house recently so she is in my mind a lot at the moment.


11 Aug 2014

Be Bold (Sunflower cutting file)

Another journal page I needed to do. When things are not going so well in specific areas of your life you sometimes have to stand your ground and stick up for yourself. That is what this journal page is all about. I'm usually an easy going sort of person but Ive noticed lately that I'm less tolerant than I used to be and have gained the confidence to speak out when things are not as they should be.

I sprayed the page with dyslusions spray inks of various colours  for the background. I then stamped some printed text stamps using archival ink.  The flowers were cut out using my Cameo from a FREE CUTTING FILE from SVGCuts  using different shades of yellow paper. I adhered the layers to my page using Modpodge and cut strips with a welded word for the main  and other stems.  I added molding paste spread through punchonella in the centre of each flower and coloured it brown when dry. I went over the lines and shaded with Pitt pens. I finished it off with lines of dots using my white Sharpies pen. Oh yes I added a few rub ons too.

I wish I was like this when I was younger, I was too much of a shrinking violet in those days!!

10 Aug 2014

toot toot (cutting file)

Here I am again. Its my two grandson's second birthday in the next month or so,  I'm on holiday just before one Grandson's birthday so I thought I'd get started on their birthday cards today wile I have the time.
Both boys are mad keen on the little brio train set we bought them and the one grandson is absolutely obsessed with Thomas the Tank engine and the other prefers Percy soo there was no problem thinking of a card for each of them.
I downloaded a train paper piecing svg/pdf file and transfered it to a print and cut file and cut them out on my Cameo.

 I folded an A4 card in green and blue then matted some yellow striped paper from the Paper mania capsule collection ( dots and stripes).  I adhered all the pieces together and placed in on the card. I used Glossy accents to give a shine to the eyes and bumpers. I painted some Wink of Stella onto the mouth an red part to give them some shine.

When it was all dry I used my Pazzle to cut out the banner triangles and adhered them to the top of the card, I added some bakers twine to complete the banner.
Finally I again used my Pazzles to cut out the theirir names and the number 2 from glitter paper and fixed them to the card.
All I have to do now is print of a greeting for the insert.

If you would like the Thomas  file you can  downloaded it  from Thomas piecing file from Cute as a Fox blog


9 Aug 2014

New Direction. (cutting files)

I'm slowly getting back into the swing of crafting so its time for a bit of journaling. Actually I started doing this page at the end of June and completed it over a few weeks. I just hadn't got around to taking photos ( again!)There are a  lot of changes happening where I work and my role also seems to be changing so I felt a journal page for this was very apt.

I used some home made alphabet stencils and molding paste to add some dimensions to the background. stencils coloured the page using  Next I coloured the page with  orange Dylusions . The green was darker than I expected so it didn't turn out as bright as I wanted. I used various circle shapes to stamp white paint circles. I used my stamps to create some added interest to the background. One was musical notes and a text one stamp , I think the print was a creative expressions stamp. the musical one is an old one.

I cut out the arrow shapes using my Pazzles from some paper (scraps) from my stash  and adhered them to the page. Finally I  stamped the lettering ( Stampendous)  and edged the arrows with a Sharpies black marker.
You can download the arrows from HERE

5 Aug 2014

Bunch of Flowers cards

Work and home have kept me busy the last month or so which means I haven't had much time to craft.
I've sort of pottered about tidying my craft room. I don't know why I bothered because it got very messy as soon as I started a project and of course I can't find anything now I've tidied it all away!!

Several colleagues in work were made redundant so I made a few cards for them. It was really hard trying to put a sentiment inside for them at such a sad occasion.
I cut (using my Bigshot)  then scanned my Tattered Lace bunch of flower die and enlarged it using my Make the Cut software and cut it out using my Cameo and Pazzles. Both Machines cut them out well. Why did I use both machines you may ask? I did it to save time because I had to make 4 cards and I had to cut the design out twice for each card. Using The Make the cut program I was able to cut from both machines at the same time. I simply chose which machine I wanted to cut from.
Stephanie Weightman, the owner of Tattered Lace, does allow you to scan the cut dies and cut using your cutting machine. This was recently stated on the Create and Craft TV Chanel.

I used ordinary green card stock for the base and yellow and pink for the flowers.

To make the card I matted some polka dot card onto the base and adhered the green bunch of lowers on top. I cut out the flowers, by hand, from the yellow and pink bunch of flowers once the machines had cut the them.
I adhered the flowers on top of the green base and added some gems to the centre of the flowers. I coated each flower with my new discovery Wink of Stella glitter brush by Zig.  You brush it over your card stock / paper and it gives a lovely fine coat of glitter. There's no point in me adding a link for it because you can search and find it for your own country's supplier. The product will come up if you Google it.

I added a bow for added dimension. I finished the cards off by printing the insert in paper that matched the colour of the flower and contrasted with the background paper. I edged the insert with  a doily dots edge punch from cut.

I did make my brother's birthday card but I forgot to take a photo of it because we were in the process of clearing my mother's house... a bitter sweet task. Sadness because it was the end of an era  but sweet when we found things that brought back such happy memories.


13 Jun 2014

Flowers (Hydrangea cutting file)

I've been having a play at making some 3D flowers. I made these lilies when I was a bit poorly and to be honest they dare not the best I am capable of. I think I just need to get my eye back in focus because my gluing was atrocious, especially with the lilies. For the pinky/purplish lilies I use Penny Duncan's Lily cutting file and followed her instructions... except that I used the old guitar strings from hubby's guitar!! He was throwing them out.... really he was!!
The ends of the strings had these little eyelets type things that looked great as the stamen for the flowers.
The orange lilies were one of Lia Griffith's Easter lily templates. They are free to download and print off Again I simply followed her directions on that page. I struggled a bit with the stems because the flower wire was too thin. It worked better using wooden skewers but they don't bend. Someone online suggested using straws and splitting one end to form 4 arms that you an adhered to the back of the flower to hold the flower and form the stem. Bendy straws meant you could bed a few to give further dimension to the flower. I haven't tried that yet.
Now I'm feeling better  I decided to make a hydrangea flower in a pot. Originally I was going to make a vase but my attempts were not very good and that's putting it mildly!
Instead I used a pottery flower pot I had in the cupboard and cut a polystyrene ball in half to fit in the pot.
I painted the ball green using some acrylic paint. I used my Cameo and Pazzles to create and cut out a mass of purple and pink four petal flowers and edged them with some distress inks. It was so funny I had both the Pazzles and Cameo working at the simultaneously using the Make the Cut Software. I was amazed how well the machines worked together. I used basic pink and purple cardstock from my stash. I used two colours to make the hydrangea look more realistic. I curled up the petals using a large ball embossing tools to give the flowers some dimension.

Next I put a white dot in the centre  of each flower using a Sharpies white pen. This is a new pen and wow! its the best I've found so far!
I then glued the flowers to the polystyrene ball with Tombow general glue.
I cut out the leaves again using my Cameo then embossed them to create the lines of the leaves.
There you have it a pot of hydrangea!

You can download the petal and leaves cutting files from HERE

I am please with the hydrangea  and the lilies look OK ..... from a distance, but they look good against my black fire front.  I might try to make the lilies again now I'm feeling better.


4 Jun 2014

Revamped Photo frames

As I said in my last post, I have bought some Treasure Gold Wax during a multimedia workshop and have an idea of where to use it..
I have had three white photo frames for many years and hubby doesn't like them. They are made of a white unglazed pottery.
I decided to revamp the frames and give them a new life.

First I painted the frame with yellow ochre acrylic paint and let it dry. It took ages t paint because I had to make sure all the nooks and crannies were painted and didn't show any white. I left the frame to dry thoroughly ( overnight). Finally I rubbed the gold wax over the frame .  First I used my finger to rub the wax but that didn't get into the folds and detail etc so I changed to using a brush. All it needed was to lightly brush the wax over the frame.
I was pleased with the result and it looks quite antique. Ive finished two frames and just have to put the wax onto the last one and it'll be finished!!  Best of .....all hubby likes the transformation!!


2 Jun 2014

Mixed media class

I went to my local scrappers crop last week for a mixed media workshop. Oh what a great time I had. No mater how long you've been crafting there are always new tricks and techniques to learn!
First of all we did a 6x6 canvas and added some molding paste then painted over the canvas with different colours.
 We stamped the flowers and butterflies onto tissue paper, painted them and adhered them to the canvas.

Sorry the photo isn't clear , my hand must have been shaking  ... well that's my excuse for the out of focus photo!!

Next we did a small deep canvas. We painted then crumpled up some flowers and stamped them. WE painted the leaves and button, then coated them with Trasure Gold Wax.
We stamped the saying and I added some crackle accents to finish it off.  Oh, yes we also edged the canvas with the gold wax.

I love the wax so of course I had to buy some!! I have an idea of what to use it on next...........


1 Jun 2014

Back in the land of the living!

After a few months of illness, including an ambulance trip to hospital and an emergency procedure I finally feel back to my old self.

As you can imagine I haven't done a great deal of crafting but I hae started to get back into it.
My nephew and wife have just had a baby boy so of course I've made a card to say congratulations.

A it was my first project in a while I kept it simple. I used light blue card stock ad matted some graphic 45 paper left over from the baby albums I did a while back.  I cut out this Tattered Lace pram die and covered it in two different coloured blue fine glitter and adhered it to the card. I added to clear gems to the wheels. I cut out the lettering using my Cameo and added some dashed lines to the edges of the card and the lettering. I finished the lettering with a little bit of glitter. There you have it!


7 Apr 2014

Poorly again

I'm sorry folks but ill health over the last 6 weeks has prevented me from doing any crafting and posting on here. I hope to be back soon.


9 Mar 2014

Fun Flowers.

I found a Youtube tutorial by Jenniebellie on how to make recycled flowers and loved the look of them so had a go at making them. The techniques to construct the flowers are nothing new but I loved how she added pen markings etc to the petals to get a really funky look.
I haven't made any flowers for a while so decided to make some tonight. I only made three but love them!
 I decided to add them to my art journal. The journal is the first one I did and up to now its had just a plain black cover splattered with paint.

I covered the cover with white gesso and lightly brushed blue and pink acrylic paint down it..... ohh! I almost forgot to say I made a bloomer after I painted on the gesso. I stuck my finger on the cover to see if it was dry and no it wasn't !!! Yes ...... I smudged it. Sooo to cover up the mistake I dabbed my fingers all over the cover and it looked OK! phew!!!

Next I dabbed some paint through a clock stencil and left it to dry properly this time....... I adhered the flowers and added the title to the journal with some Sharpies pens.

It was interesting looking back through my first journal and saw how bad I was at it!  I compared it with my second journal and I think I can safely say that I have improved a bit! I've just started my third journal so it'll be interesting to see how I develop through this one......... Its all a learning experience.......and fun at the same time......


8 Mar 2014

Prima doll tags

OK, the left tag is using an  Artful ladies stamps. The right hand tag is one of the Prima doll stamps. Like the other one in my last post this one was borrowed.  I stamped the  figures twice. Once on flesh coloured paper and the second time on patterned paper from my stash. I used a swirl Sizzix Thinlits die for the swirls and coloured them green to go with the tag.

The flowers on the left tag were stamped on the tag and cut out from patterned paper and then decoupaged. They were finished off with drops of perfect pearls.  The flowers on the right hand tag were fussy cut from paper out of the Prima Melody collection (Songbirds and GoldenRod) and adhered to the tag. Some Glossy accents were added in different spots to add some dimension. You can't see that in the pictures but it does add a bit of shine. The girl was decorated in the same way as the other tag but was adhered using foam pads.

I never quite know what to do with tags. I made a pile for the Tim Holtz tags of 2012 and they are stuck in an album at the moment.

A friend has suggested using these Prima doll tags on a card which I think might be a good idea. 
Do you have any ideas on how I can use my doll stamps and pad of tags? I've got three of my own stamps to start using so I need lots of ideas on what to do with the finished tags.... help!


7 Mar 2014

Home made stamp cleaner

 I'm a person who doesn't like to spend too much money on things I can make myself for a fraction of the cost. A lot of the tings you see being sold by the manufacturers are good but can be expensive. I have a few things I've made in the tutorial section of this blog. 

I've  been doing some more stamping recently and I got fed up of using up all my wet wipes etc cleaning the stamps. I found that a mini white board eraser I use in school was  very good to clean my stamps but it was only about an inch wide and two inches long so not that useful for the larger stamps.

A friend of mine bought a Stampin Up stamp scrub and I loved that idea but thought it a bit costly for what it was and I couldn't tell which was the cleaning and which was the drying side because they both looked the same.

Anyway I was clearing some of hubby's tools away when I found a brand new paint pad. You now the sort, they are a rectangular sponge pad with a velvety surface on top. Ah ha! I thought, that would be a good thing to clean my stamps and I could make my own stamp scrub.

I tried it out and yes it worked so I thought I need a case to put it in... hmmm what could I use? I tried a video case but the base sides were too tall.  I the thought of the baby wipe box I keep for my grandsons when I change their nappies ( diapers). I emptied the wipes and adhered the paint pads to the lid and base. The box was a Huggies wipes travel boxThere were just a few sheets of wipes left so it wasn't hard to nab the box!!
 It cost a few pounds for a second paint pad to glue to the lid.

I added two labels to tell which was the cleaning side and which was the drying.  Because they are only adhered to the box by double sided tape the pads are easy to remove for washing or replacing. I know you can get longer paint pads so I will get the longer ones when I need to replace these ones.

As you can see I've tried the cleaner out and guess what? It works brilliantly! I used Ranger's Inkssentials Stamp cleaner liquid but I see no reason why you can't use a weak solution of washing up liquid in a spray boottle.

You can see in more detail on how I made this tool in the tutorial section of this blog  which is on the right hand side of the page.

Sorry grandsons but Granny has to go and buy some more wipes now!!!

5 Mar 2014

60th Birthday Layout.

 These are the layouts I did of my birthday celebrations. It was a quiet affair, just my family going out for a meal which was exactly what I wanted. I am trying my best to use up some of my stash so again the papers are from my stash They didn't have a name on them so I can't tell you what paper I used.  The first layout worked out well as far as colour matching was concerned. I cut out the lettering using my Cameo. Initially I just had the pinkish background with the fussy cut flowers. The problem arose when it came to adding my grandson's photos....

 Their photos were a lot brighter in colour than everyone else's because of the child seats the hotel used. They were bright red and lime green.. arghh!!  they don't match the other page so I couldn't do a double page layout. Instead I found a green background and a brighter pink swirl to fussy cut.

I changed the other layout to incorporate the green as well and reversed the background for the second one.

They sort of have links to each other but  are separate layouts at the same time.......
I thought I had put the photos on the pages quite straight but looking at the photos now I wasn't very successful was I? hahahaha!

3 Mar 2014

Time Flies

Gosh I can't believe how these birthdays seem to be arriving faster and faster as I get older! Having hit my 60th birthday I needed to add an entry in my art journal to commemorate this big birthday!

I sprayed the page and insert with blue, green and yellow Dylusions inks then stamped some watches all over the pages. I also stamped some wings on the sides of the watches. Sorry I don't know what make of stamp because they are pretty old now. The wings were free with a stamping magazine.

I bleached out the middle of the watches and edged them with black and white acrylic pens. I stamped a Prima Dolls stamp on paper from my stash and also the dress from patterned paper. I coloured her hair and adhered her to the page. This stamp I borrowed off a friend.
I cut out the Tim Holtz clock using chipboard and  my Bigshot and painted it with the Brush Pitt pens. I stamped and cut out the clock wings from the Artful ladies stamps designed by Sam Poole.

The lettering and numbers are from stickers I had in my stash and coloured them to suit the page. The butterflies are again some I had in my stash. I added some Anita's gold 3D dimensional paint to finish off the butterflies and touch up the clock. There you have it!!

I do like these Prima doll stamps so have bought a couple to use  errrm how I'm not sure yet. I've got the Prima tags so will have a go at that next.

2 Mar 2014

60th Birthday card

Its that time of life when I and my friends are or have  reached a milestone as far as birthdays are concerned! I had my 60th birthday a few days ago and it is my friends birthday in a few weeks.
I had a new computer for my birthday and I've spent a few days trying to set up my computer and transfer all my crafting programs and files. While I was checking whether my Studio and Make the Cut programs worked correctly I made a card for my friend using my Cameo ( Studio software) It cut perfectly first time... much to my relief.

The picture doesn't really show that I used cream card to cut out the topper. I create a frame  then welded some lettering together then to the frame. The flowers are a shape from the studio library again welded to the frame and lettering. I backed the frame with blue holographic mirri card stock and matted and layered the topper and mirri card to the cream card. I used some textured flower shapes from  my stash to adhere tot he card and added some gems to finish it off.
I hope she'll like it!