Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Hello sunshine

My gorgeous hubby turned 31 yesterday, which means February is drawing to a close and spring is finally on the way. Hurrah! We had a brilliant day, taking our little pud to watch the planes at the airport (he's becoming absolutely fascinated by planes!) and having a lovely lunch at a local pub. I'm so glad that March is nearly here, summer provides so many more opportunities for trips out and fun play ideas in the garden that I would be too scared to try indoors. It's this excitement that inspired today's card. I LOVE the cloud-patterned paper, which is from my Crate Paper Maggie Holmes 6x6" paper pad. This paper pad is fab because of all the interesting background designs - as well as the music sheet and clouds there's wood and brick-effect designs, as well as a funky blurred lights paper that I can't wait to try.
The image and sentiment are actually freebies from the Paper Smooches blog - I was so impressed with these freebies, I love the style and I will definitely be having a look at the goodies available in their online shop. I simply printed these designs onto some Nitwit Collections A4 papers that came free with a magazine, and hey presto - a quick card for the start of spring!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine

Just dropping by today to show you one of the cards I made for Simply Cards & Papercraft issue 120, which is on sale now. This commission was using Project Life journaling cards in my designs. For anyone who doesn't know, Project Life is the idea of creating a scrapbook-style journal with photos, journaling and typically 3x4" & 4x6" decorative cards that are an easy way of adding colour and interest. This is an excellent page about the ethos of Project Life. I found some beautiful ones online and completely free - for more details make sure you check out the mag. With a little bit of colourful embellishment and subtle stamping you've got a very quick design. They transformed my cards and I will definitely be using Project Life journaling cards again!


Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Leaf suncatcher mobile

I've been busy beavering away these last few days - lots of projects in various stages of completion! This one was a complete spur-of-the-moment 'let's experiment' project, inspired by my little pud. He's been driving me completely mental these last few weeks (months) refusing to stay still while I change his nappy. So when a friend of mine told me that her daughter behaves at nursery during nappy changes because of the pretty mobiles that hang on the ceiling, I decided to make something to distract my mischievous little boy.
When I was thinking about what to make, I remembered a craft project I did with the babies and mummies at my messy play classes. It was using clear book covering film and coloured tissue paper squares to create shaped suncatchers. I had some left over from the classes, so enlisted Stanley's help to create three pieces with different colour combinations. 
I used my lovely Unity Stamp Company chunky wooden leaf stamps and Jet Black StazOn inkpad to add the leaf impressions onto my coloured covering film, then carefully cut around each. I managed to get quite a few leaves from just three pieces! Leaves made perfect sense, as Stanley's room is very outside themed, with a huge tree and leaves on the walls, and clouds on his ceiling. This mobile fits the theme perfectly.
Once all the pieces were cut out, it was simply a case of using a sewing needle and coloured embroidery thread to hang up my leaves. I thought it would be nice to keep the theme authentic, so I took advantage of the UK's recent gales and found myself a recently blown-down branch and used this to hang the leaves from. I made sure I dried it out first, putting it in the oven on a very low heat for half an hour. Once placed in the window you can really see how the light shines through the tissue paper to create a 'suncatcher' effect.
I love the overall finished effect in Stanley's room, and he seems to as well! Let's see how long it takes for him to pull it down... ;)

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

DIY heart canvas

Oh I do love my crafty afternoons playing with ideas while Stanley plays with his grandmothers... and yes,  I do realise how truly lucky I am! This afternoon I'm busy finishing a commisson for a magazine, so I thought I would do another retrospective post and show you this heart canvas I made a while ago - perfect for Valentine's Day! It sits happily on the shelves in my craft room/our spare room, brightening up the space.
It was a commission for Simply Homemade magazine way back in 2011, and the brief specified I needed to use newspaper or book paper in the design. Here I've covered a large chipboard heart shape with a page from an old book, sanding down the edges and decorating with an emroidery thread bow and paper flowers for that extra girly touch. Some playful word rub-ons and transparent flourish stickers completed the look.
If you've never tried decorating your own canvases before, do give it a go! You can buy simple plain  square ones from the pound shop and add acrylic paint to suit the colours in your decor - an easy (and cheap!) way to get the perfect wall hangings!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Creative Stamping magazine

Just a quick one on this sunny/rainy Sunday to share one of the cards I made for issue 15 of Creative Stamping magazine, which is on sale now. This magazine is fab because you get a huge A4 stamp set free with every issue, and this card was made using one of the free stamps! I LOVE mixing vintage images with bright colours and modern papers (I do it quite a lot), and these cards were the perfect example of that. My design even graced the cover! Proud as punch :)

Friday, 7 February 2014

'Baby Love' quickie layout

There's more lurgy here in the Joyce household - while Stanley can finally breathe properly through his nose (and therefore get some much-needed sleep), it's mummy and daddy who are feeling poorly! But I won't let that stop me, and as promised my first Stanley scrapbook page is complete - and Oh! So many ideas for the next few. I've decided to create an album depicting all my favourite photographs from his first year. This particular photo was actually being used in an upcoming project for Simply Homemade magazine, so I simply printed two of the same photo onto the page so that I could create a scrapbook page with one of them. This photo also hangs proudly on my living room wall (changed into a lovely black & white print) so it holds special meaning to me. I would say this is a 'quickie' layout as it was basically created in an evening and uses no more than some white washable paint, Webster's Pages Life's Portrait patterned papers and some MAMBI stickers (found in TK Maxx, natch). But I don't think you have to slave over a layout for it to be beautiful, and it very much depends on your design. The journaling reads; "This is my favourite photograph of you as a newborn. It was taken by Auntie Rohima less than 24 hours after you were born. All you wanted to do was sleep... and all I wanted to do was stare at your beautiful face".

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Joyful nights!

A little late with my blog post this week! Stanley has had an awful cold and he's teething like crazy. Sleep is somewhat lacking in this household at the moment, which makes this card fitting! I've been playing with my paper punches recently and rediscovered my little star punch to design this card. It uses both a negative punched background and 3D-effect punches stars along with sparkly gems to create a night sky. Then it's finished off with American Crafts Amy Tangerine fabric stickers. I've had these for a while and wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them, but they were perfect for this card. The stickers seem to be intended for scrapbooking, and the 'joy' sentiment isn't really a sentiment at all. But I like the way there's room for a tiny stamped sentiment on the white faric cloud, or I can simply leave it as it is and give it to a new parent! If they're anything like us, they'll understand how there's nothing quite like those first cosy, sleepy cuddles in the middle of the night.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

No crafting today...

...We've been out splashing in puddles instead!! Stanley tried out his new wellies for the first time... they were a hit! Now some down-time for mummy and daddy while grandma and grandad take him to watch the fireworks for Chinese new year. It's a hard life for a baba...
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