Friday, 21 November 2014

Well where has the year gone

So my last post was in February when I was on the road to recovery after my fall and when I was feeling quite optimistic about getting back to normal. Sadly that hasnt been the case and almost a year after the accident I have been discharged by physio as this is as good as its gonna get.  I know that in the grand scheme having limited use of my arm isnt the end of the world but as I have always been extremely self reliant this new phase of my life has been hard to adjust to.  Sadly my arm refuses to go round my back now nor can I raise it and use it to put up my hair without the pain becoming very intense. I did have my hair cut short at the beginning of the year but told myself I would get back to being able to straighten it when it grew again. Its not happening so I will have to give in gracefully and find a new me.

Crafting hasnt been the pleasure it used to be either because of the injury and I confess to having done very little this year apart from a few projects for family. But I have realised I miss this part of my life and am now determined to make time to craft and to take the obligatory pain killers which I hate taking  but being able to craft again will help me to get back to me as it were.  So when an old work colleague asked if I still made those personal cards I resisted the urge to say no and asked instead for her to drop off details of what she wanted. It turned out she wanted a 40th card for her son who loves running, cycling in the hilly countryside and dogs and she wanted a humerous card. So I dug down deep and hiding away I found a little of my mojo and a card was born. It may not be my finest work and I quite literally put it off until the last day to make it but I got there in the end and she was happy with the result.

What it did show me was just how much the accident has affected my confidence in all aspects of my life, something I would have laughed at if someone had said it had happened to them.  I never truly believed the fall would do this to me and then I never wanted to admit how badly it has affected me. But I have slowly come to realise I cannot change how I am feeling overnight I must take small steps and get back to me. So when I am off work in december I WILL visit the hairdresser and explain my limitations and take their advice. I know the long hair I love will have to go but if that is what it takes then it has to happen.

So that's the end of my self obsessed ramblings.  I will not promise to blog daily or even weekly as I rashly did back in February but I will TRY to blog more often and hopefully it will be more cheerful than todaus effort and craft related because after all that is why the blog began. Hopefully my mojo has decided to return on a more frequent basis which will mean the posts may happen.

And just to prove my mojo hasn't left me permanently here is the 40th card.  

Monday, 24 February 2014

Hi to anyone out there who may still be popping by my blog.

Firstly I must apologise for the great time that has elapsed since my last blog post  I can only say that the last eighteen months have been one event after another which quite overtook my life and so my crafting had to take a back seat.  It began with unexpected redundany which althoug very traumatic at the time actually proved to be a blessing in disguise because it took me from a situation I was very unhappy in but did not have the courage and strength to walk away from.  In the middle were some very painful losses of family members but one miracle which has transformed the life of my immediate family - the arrival of a truly beautiful granddaughter - a miracle because her mum, my daughter, was in the process of IVF tests having been told she would be unable to conceive.  The pregnancy itself was far from run of the mill, with many trips to hospital with one scare after another but the stubborn little child hung in there and  then gave us or final hiccup by arriving early.  Unfortunately we very nearly lost my daughter after the birth but thankfully she pulled through and was able to come home with baby Onyx Rose shortly after the birth.  However, my employer at that time was less than supportive of me having to take emergency leave and so one year after being made rdundant I found myself seeking other employment again.  But that too was another ccloud with a silver lining and I have found emplyment working with adults with autism and other learning difficulties and its going well.  Well it was until 20th December last year when while escourting one of the adults home for christmas I fell and broke my left arm in three places, only five days after I had finished my intensive training course.  But unlike my previous employers they have been nothing but supportive and last week I began a slow return to work.  My arm is healing well, not yet in full working order, still  extremely painful and I have been warmed that as the breaks were quite bad I may be left with some reduced movement but I can use my arm again.

And so I decided that as I am healing it was time to begin crafting again in ernest.  I have done some projects over the last year - well family would be so disappointed if I sent them shop bought cards and I have begun to dabble in altered art.  I took the plunge last week and made my first card since breaking my arm using the free die with Issue Two of the Tattered Lace magazine.  On a whim I took a piccy, sent it in to Create and Craft and not only did they read out my email and show my card but I also was picked from the cup to receive a card and it duly arrived, not one made by Stephanie but one made by Nigel as he crafted along with her.

So while I may not get to post every day I am determined that this year I will post at least weekly and if I can discover how you do that advanced post thingy that Sue Wilson does you never know, I may even get around to doing scheduled posts but that is one Im keeping in reserve for now.

So I will sign off for now with a piccy of the most beautiful little girl who has quite stolen my heart and brought such joy to my family.  Oh and yes she is going to br a crafter, as she is now five months old and sitting up she joins her gramsy in the craft room sitting in her high chair and already has made her first card - helped by mummy and gramsy she inked her hand and put it on a card for her auntie's birthday and even signed it herself inside - well it may have looked like spider crawls but her auntie adored it and I know whe will never part with it.

So here she is, my beautiful Granddaugher - the letters spelling her name are from the MDF man, decorated by painting with Twinkling H2O's, then overstamped with Joanna Sheen's Patchwork stamps and varnished with Crafters Companion Spray and Shine which worked perfectly.  The pose was supplied by my granddaugher herself - even at four weeks old her cheeky pesonality shone through.

The photograph was taken by my very talented cousin Lindsey Reddall at her studio in Newcastle - Pictures Forever whi h she co- owns with a friend.  Their work is absolutely fantastic - yes I could be classed as baised as she is family but you can see for yourself on their facebook page - there are a couple more piccys of Onyx on there along with more examples of their artistry.  It really is worth checking out and if you need a good photographer I cannot recommend the studio highly enough and they are extremely reasonable price wise so even if you have to taake a trip to Newcastle it works out much less expensive than many other professionals as we discovered whrn we took Onyx Rose to a local session by Pixi Foto's.

Finally this is me with Onyx Rose, I just adore this picture, Lindsay even managed to make me look human lol.

Bye for now and thanks for reading.

Jacqui xxxx

Saturday, 27 October 2012

\Good afternoon bloggers.  Another one of my requested cards above, I do enjoy doing these although sometimes the odd requests can get a little stressful.  This card was made for a junior doctor who was moving to pastures new and as he had been such fun to work with we couldnt let him go without a special card.  As I had worked with him regularly we had shared the odd non work related conversation and his love of Rowan Atkinson, especially as Johnny English, had often featured as had his request every morning when asked if he would like a drink hence the sentiment.

I used one of the cupcake crafting large elegant card blanks and then embossed a piece of yellow card using my grand calibur and the Mystic MBossability folder, extending it beyond normal size.
I printed the sentiment Make Mine a Martini Shaken not Stirred (the doctor's request each morning when asked if he wanted a drink) and cut this using one of the Lifestyle Crafts Lacy Square dies, rotating it to a diamond shape, inking while still in the die.  (If you havent come across these dies check out Maddy Lisa Crafts - she has a fantastic selection, great service and the dies themselves are, in my opinion, great value for money).  Next was a picture of Johnny English, printed onto matt photo paper.  I then layered everything onto the card and inked around the edge with a pale yellow ink to take away the harshness of the white card.

But it still wasnt complete and I decided what it needed was a martini glass to finish it off.  So a quick look around the craft room and I saw the perfect glass - with a little alteration.  I took a small funnel and cut part of it away so I could stick it to the front of the card.  I used the piece I had cut away to make a base for the glass.  I stuck the pieces together using collal silicone glue and left to dry.  Once dry I then got out my stickles and used a green around the base and stem and then piped a line around the rim of the glass and let that dry.  And once that was dry I decided to use the lace stickles inside the bowl of the glass to look like there was a drink in it.  After letting this dry I attached the glass to the front of the card, again using silicone glue and left to dry once more.

And another card finished.  The recipient loved the card and the bottle of martini we had got him to go with it, well at least when he got home that night he could have his martini any way he wanted it lol.

|I hope you enjoyed seeing the card, please feel free to leave a comment, I truly do appreciate the feedback of fellow crafters.

Jacqui xxx  


Monday, 22 October 2012

Good evening bloggers.  Today I thought I would show you a card made for a friend's birthday.  I took my inspiration for the colour scheme from the ribbon which was a bargain at just 40p for a metre in a bargain tub at my local Boyes store.  I just love the way it graduates from pink to white and was just waiting for the right card to use it on.  And I think it looks perfect on this one.

The base card is from Cupcakecrafting - one of their 7" x 10" elegant cards which I love.  I began by adding a rectangle of white card decorated  with pink swirls and flowers.  I then dusted around the edge of the card with Worn Lipstick distress ink - dusting from the card bas onto the decorated mat.  Next I took my Floral Ovals die and cut two of the largest size - one in white centura pearl and one in fuscia pink glitter encapsulated card.  I cut the pink oval into four equal sections and fixed it behind the white oval to create a frame.  To hide the gap at both sides and top and bottom I cut 4 corners from Parisian accents in the same pink card and added them as though they were holding hands a la Sue.  I then took an Inkylicious sentiment and stamped this in Black Versafine and cut using the Romantic Rectangles, dusting with Worn Lipstick distress ink.  I then stamped the dress stamp, one of Dawn Bibby's, in Memento Rose Bud and cut this out, leaving a white border around the stamp.  I affixed the stamped image to the oval frame and fixed to the card with foam pads to create dimension.  I also used foam pads to add the sentiment to the top right of the card.  Using the ribbon I tied a double bow and added this to the bottom left corner of the card with silicone glue, fixing three hat pins behind, two in pink and one in white and then finished the bow with a fabric covered button.

I must admit to being reluctant to part with the card when it was finished, but it did make its way to the intended recipient.

I hope you like it, please feel free to leave a comment.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and look - it really is much appreciated.

Jacqui xx  

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Viva Las Vegas

Good Afternoon bloggers.  Thought while I was on the laptop I would add another post to my blog.  If you have seen some of my older posts you will know that I get some odd requests for birthday cards and love to add my twist to them.  Last month I was asked if I could make a 21st card for a colleagues son.  She had scoured the shops for something that was "him" but had no luck so asked if I could help.  I asked her what her son liked and was told Fast Cars.  She said they were taking a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate his birthday so I though I would take that as my lead.  And below is the result.

As there was a lot going on in the card I opted to use one of my extra large card blanks A3 in size. I added a large piece of blue spotted card to the front to leave a white border and then I printed the Las Vegas Strip night scene onto card and added that.  My next task was to source the fast cards - they came courtesy of La Pashe from The Big One CD Rom.  I chose the three cars and then arranged them as though they were driving out of the strip.  I found the Welcome To Las Vegas sign vis Google Images and printed and added to the top of the card.  Next it was the poker chips - a quick look on Google Images and I found just what I was looking for so I printed out a selection in white, red, green and black.  I added letters to some of the chips to spell out Happy Birthday and fixed these to the bottom of the card and then added peel off number 21's in silver to the remainder of the poker chips and fixed them randomly to the top of the card at both sides.  And voila - a 21st card finished.

I liked the end result but more importantly the card made it to Las Vegas intact and the recipient loved it.  And quite a coincidence but his girlfriend had arranged for him to have a driving experience while they were there as part of his birthday present - the car being his dream car an Aston Martin - one of the three I had chosen to put on the card without knowing he has this on his wish list to own.  Well until he can get the full size version he has a decoupage one.

Thanks again for looking.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Back for Good

I cannot believe that almost 6 months have passed since I last posted to my blog.  It hasnt been the best of times personally but I am now looking forward with a new job, my eldest daughter finally in a permanent nursing post 3 years after qualifying and today her husband passed out of the army.  So time for me to start the blog rolling again and I will try my best to post weekly.  Of course I have still been crafting over the last 6 months so I have a good few projects photographed that I can post about.  And so I will begin with one which while rewarding to do was also bittersweet.

Last October one of my close work colleague's husbands lost a three year battle with cancer.  Six months after his death his wife was 60 so I decided to do her something a little special for her birthday.  A quick trip to Merly Impressions got me exactly what I was looking for - the Kaisercraft Cruise Ship MDF minibook.  Enlisting the help of her daughters I copied a few pictures of the two of them on the cruise holidays they had taken after Dave's illness was diagnosed.  And the following is the result:

 I prepared the minibook by painting with white paint and then varnishing to give it that cruise ship book.  The inside pages were decorated with papers from a Debbi Moore stamping magazine - they were travel related so perfect for this project.  I attached photographs of Chris and Dave on the cruise ship and in some of the stop off and added embellishments.  The anchor on the first page was from a Kanban stamp, stamped in Blue stazon onto shrink plastic and then heated to reduce it to the perfect size.  I then added acetate across the portholes and added a picture of Chris and Dave behind two of the portholes as if they were looking out.   On the second page is the lighthouse stamp from the same kanban collection again stamped in blue stazon on shrink plastic and reduced in size.  The third page has a quote about Italy, perfect to go with the picture and a string of beads to emulate decorations/  On the last page is a shore scene together with some birds stamped  onto shrink plastic and added  once shrunk to size.  The back of the book I finished with a cut out of Chris and Dave dancing on the cruise ship.  This photograph sits by her bed and is the favourite picture of one of her grandsons because they both look so happy.

While it was so rewarding completing the project, it did bring some tears looking at them both so happy and enjoying life to the full despite the terrible hand they had been dealt.  

Chris loves the book, she said it was the perfect reminder of the happy times they had together on the cruises.  

Thanks for taking the time to stop by - please feel free to leave a comment, your feedback is really appreciated.  After all, if my fellow crafters like my work that is the best commendation I can have. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Wedding Invitation

One of my work colleagues asked me if I could make the invitations for her stepson's wedding in November of this year.  My brief was fuscia pink, black and butterflies. The bride wanted square invites and, if possible, for the butterfly to  pop out of the middle of the card please.  She wanted the butterly in the black but other than that it was up to me how I made the invites!

So my first task was to source the cardstock.  A quick visit to Foilplay and there was just the card in the perfect colours, double sided pearlescent card in noir and azalea/hot pink.  And of course as usual the delivery was super quick.  I cut the cardstock down to make it just slightly smaller than 6 inch square and scored for a gatefold card.  The corners were cut with a WRMK corner chomper using the scallop and then I decided to take a look through my sizzix texturz plates and found one which would emboss the card blank with butterflies.  To get a butterly to pop from the card I cut and embossed the large butterfly from the Spellbinders Fanciful Flight set and using 3mm extra strength double sided tape fixed the butterfly in the centre of the back panel of the card blank.  The wedding details were printed onto pink paper and then cut to fit the two gatefold sections, the invite on the left hand side and the RSVP on the right.  The right fold of the card was perforated so that the recipient could tear it off and return it to the bride and groom to be to let them know if they were attending.  The final touch was to add the words Wedding Invitation and Evening Invitation to the front of each gatefold using black peel offs to match with the butterfly.  I then looked at all the pink strips of card cut from the A4 sheet and decided to make place names for the tables.  I cut the card into squares, embossed with the same sizzix butterfly texturz plate and used the corner chomper to give them scalloped corners.  And then it was one wedding and one evening invite completed and sent to the bride for her approval.  My colleague was delighted with the invites, as was the bride so that just left another 45 to complete and 90 place name cards.  Thankfully with the help of a crafting friend I managed to get all the large butterflies cut and embossed before my grand calibur died so the invites are finished.  But now I am thinking as nice as the name place cards are, the little butterfly from the fanciful flight set would just finish them off.  But that will have to wait until my new grand calibur arrives lol.