Thursday, 31 July 2014

Lapwings and Buffalo

A couple of weeks ago we spent 3 days as invited guests at a Game Park. What a privilege. We were so spoilt and saw some amazing animals and birds.

One evening just as the sun was setting we watched as a pair of Blacksmith Lapwings saw off a herd of buffalo who wandered too close to their nest. It's amazing that they lay their eggs slap bang in the middle of an open piece of land with nothing to protect them at all. We really thought that the eggs wouldn't survive as one of the buffalo actually lay down right where the nest appeared to be. After about 10 minutes of squawking, a few pecks on the nose and lots of wing flapping the animals moved off and all three eggs where perfect, thank goodness.
Nature never fails to amaze me.  

I made this card to send as a thank you for the fantastic weekend.

The envelope was made using the Complete Crafter's Companion.

A different colour combination.

I personalized this bought envelope by securing some striped paper to the flap.

Pattern: Prick 'n Stitch   Big Five
Card stock: 200gsm in navy and red.
Black button
Gold brads
gold paper
Thread: DMC in black and metallic bronze
Envelopes: Navy bought
                  Red and white stripes paper: Google free images
                  Red paper
                  Complete Crafter's companion, envelope side
                  Grey check: Activity Village

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Happy 9th birthday

It is my youngest nephew's birthday soon and these are the cards I made for him.

It is my opinion that you can never go wrong with a dinosaur theme for a boy of this age so here is my dinosaur one...

... but his real love is tractors and cats so of course I had to include one of those.

The inspiration for the first card came from this blog It's all fiddle fart and this  card.
This is actually one of the very first blogs I ever followed and in the early days this lady inspired a lot of my work. Thanks Helen.

Dinosaur card:
For this I bought a sheet of cheapish raised stickers, die cut four squares which I covered with a 'dotty' sky and some green paper for grass. I mounted the squares onto gold paper and stuck the squares onto a single larger square which I also mounted on gold.
The sentiment is a peel off sticker.

Cat card:
My inspiration for this one came from here. For the body I used a large circle die which I cut once each in black and white. A smaller die in white was used for the face.
I cut the black circle in half re cutting with the same die to create the tail. I trimmed it slightly at the larger side so that it was in proposition with the body.
I hand cut the stripes and ears from the other black half circle. The whiskers where also hand cut from scraps and to complete I added black flat backed gems for the eyes and drew the mouth and nose using a felt tipped pen.

Dinosaur card:
Sizzix dies: 8 squares
Card stock 200msg in white
Paper: Scraps of green and spotted paper, gold paper.

Cat Card:
 Sizzix circle dies 8
Card stock: 200g in blue
Flat backed gems in blue and black
Felt tipped pen
Paper: Activity Village

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Baby's jersey

Today I want to share some cards with you that are a lot of fun to make. Miniature baby jerseys.
When I was a teenager I can remember making these little jerseys and stitching them onto safety pins to wear as broaches. I think I had one in every imaginable colour.
Here I show you how to make them and use them on a card.

I always have scraps of wool left over from other projects and this is a perfect way to use them up.
For these I used 4 ply wool and knitted on size 12 needles. I cast on 15 stitches and knitted 3 rows in rib. Then 10 rows in stocking stitch before adding 5 sts at the end of the 11th row and then add another 5 stitches at the end of the 12th row. Knit one more full row before knitting half of the next row and then transferring to toothpicks. By doing this you allow the ball of wool to be attached to the middle of the last row.

To assemble I glue a bead to the end of each toothpick, roll up the remaining wool and then secure the knitting and ball of wool to the card stock with craft glue. Place something heavy on the jersey for a couple of minutes to ensure that it dries flat against the card stock.
To complete I did a row of faux stitching around the edge of the coloured paper and the card stock.

I hope you will have as much fun making these as I did...

Scrapes of 4 ply wool
2 x wooden toothpicks
2 x small beads
gold Sequins
Pink flat Backed gems
Green round domed stickers
Scrapes of paper: Sorry I can't remember where I got them
Black felt pen

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Casino Royale

Recently I was asked to make a card for a man who would be celebrating his 40th birthday.

The only guidelines I was given was that “ he wasn’t really into sport” and “ the party theme was Casino Royale”. Well, I don’t have any patterns that fit the casino or gambling theme and although there are a few at Stitching cards: Ace of spades I didn’t want to purchase any, as I didn’t think I would really be able to make use of them in the future. This left me with the idea to do something in the colours of a deck of cards.
This is what I came up with…

The pattern is a free one from Next to Nixc. ( If you have been following this blog you will know I am new to this blogging business and  still have so much to learn, one of the things is to keep better records of the sources for my patterns etc. Despite searching for over an hour I was unable to find it's exact location on Nicx's blog. Apologies. I will rectify this when I have more time). 
The 40 is computer generated and then I used circle dies to cut it out and mount it. Next I adhered it with foam dots to give it some height. 
The lady who commissioned the card was delighted.

I repeated the pattern with more feminine colours for a second card.

Pattern: Next to Nicx
Threads: Single strand of black, red, lilac, pale blue, yellow and olive DMC embroidery thread.
Red and white Card stock, 200gsm
Black, mauve and olive green paper: scarps
Flower button in yellow from my stash.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

A donation to charity

Have you ever been invited to celebrate a birthday and the invitation says something along these lines… Please make a donation to a specified charity instead of a gift?
I admire people who can do that. I think it’s a fantastic, selfless thing to do and I wish I was brave enough to do the same but the truth is I like my birthday and I like gifts.
By nature I am a shy person who usually shuns the limelight but some how this doesn’t apply when it is my birthday. I love the fuss that goes with the celebration, not that I generally go the route of a big party but I do like to get together with my friends. 

Today’s card was made for a lady who did exactly that. She asked for no gifts, just donations to the local Children’s Home. So I had to make her an extra special card instead.

I also made a purple version.

For these cards I only used the flowers from the Art Nouveau Rose 4 pattern and repeated them randomly over the surface of the cardstock.


Pattern: Stitching cards Art Nouveau Rose 4
Flat back crystals
Peel off in gold for numerals
Pink washi tape down side of pink card
Scrap of purple card stock down side of purple card
Envelope: Canon Creative Park Pink trees

Monday, 14 July 2014

Christmas in July

At the beginning of the year I signed up for another challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers. This challenge is called Christmas Card Challenge 2014 and is a way of getting my Christmas projects done through out the year. I like all things Christmas so enjoy working on a project or two every month.  Having family living overseas I have to post their Christmas gifts at the end of October and cards need to go sometime in November so it’s good to be organized as somehow these deadlines creep up on me so quickly.
Each month on this forum, we are given a new challenge. Sometimes I take part but often I just do one of the hundreds of ideas I have saved and post that. This month the challenge is to use something to do with America’s Independence Day celebrations i.e. red, white and blue or fireworks.
I have done one of each.
These cards are small measuring 6.5cm x 7cm

The first card is for the red, white and blue challenge.

I loved this cute owl paper which was a free download from Craftyferret. I stuck it onto some card stock before I used my oval die to cut it to size, I wanted a thicker look to the ovals. I used a plain blue section of the off cuts to print the sentiment. Unfortunately I did not have the correct size die for the white backing so I did this by hand. To complete I used a corner punch and a white gel pen to faux stitch around the edge.

 ... and the second one is for the fireworks section of the challenge.

The glitter doesn't show up very well but in real life it is quite shiny on the red sections of the strips.

I randomly cut a strip of green card stock at a slight angle for the trunk of the tree and then using my guillotine cut five red and white stripes for the tree. 
The kraft card stock is the cover of an old school exercise book.

Neither of these designs are my own, unfortunately I am unable to give credit where credit is due as I have misplaced their original creators. Should you recognize either card please let me know and I will rectify this immediately. 

Spellbinders Nestabilities classic ovals small die cuts
Gel pen in white
Corner Punch
Glitter: Glitzin' Red
Paper: Owls from Craftyferret Owl in Santa hat
           Red and White Strip: Google images

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Baby, it's cold out there...

We have had a cold week this week. Now those of you who know my neck of the woods will be laughing when you hear me say that, because Durban never really gets cold and you would be right! However we need to put things in perspective. If a normal winters day in Durban is about 23 degrees Celsius and nights only get to about 18 degrees then it stands to reason that there is no need for winter sheets, electric blankets etc. That means that when the night temp goes down to 8 degrees and days are about 14 degrees, we are totally unprepared.
That is what has happened this week. I have had on so many layers, I only own three jerseys for heaven’s sake, that I feel like the Oros man. I've even hauled out the old hot water bottle. Here is the semi tropics we certainly don’t expect winter to get cold…. 

Today I want to share a card that I made for a challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers.
Each week they choose a new Queen. We are encouraged to peruse her gallery and use the cards in there as inspiration for a card of our own. To honour the queen we post those cards for her to see.
This week Marion is queen.

Here is my card to honour her.

I was very excited when I saw this card of hers as I have a stitched pattern for the exact same image. I decided to give it a go.

Pattern: Bergkaarten
Embossing folder: Cuttlebug Swiss dots
Thread: navy blue
Blue Card stock

Sunday, 6 July 2014

My To-Do list

School is closed for the winter holidays, which means that I have three glorious weeks at home.
I love the holidays. I like being able to sleep in late and having time to accomplish the things that I need to. This means that I always start the holidays with a To-Do list. Some of the things on that list I want to do and some I need to do but what normally happens is that I start working my way through the list, leisurely. The reality of my To-Do lists is that by the time the last week of holidays arrives I look at the list and realise that I have crossed off very few things and then the final days are spent playing catch up.

These holidays, however, are going to be different, or that is the theory anyway. I have written my list and the plan is that each evening I select an item which I hope to accomplish the next day. The trick is to start the day with this task and once I have reached my goal I can then decide if I want to continue with something else off the list or spend the rest of the day as I please. Don’t get me wrong I have no problem spending a couple of hours with my nose buried in a good book or perusing blogland but if my plan works these pastimes will only happen once I have completed something off the list.

Besides the fact that I spent the first two days of my holiday (weekends don’t count) socializing, I have managed to stick to my plan so far and have sewn a shirt for myself and cut out a second one. How long I will be able to keep this up? Well that’s anyone’s guess!!!! 

The card I have for you today is one where I have actually followed the design as it was originally intended to look. This doesn't happen often as normally I adapt the patterns that I have to suit an idea.
I have made this one in two different colours. 

A purple one. I prefer this one.

and a pink one.

Thanks for looking and have a good week.......... I will!

Pattern: Stitching cards Flower Border Best Wishes
Thread: Green, pink, yellow and purple
Paper: Purple from Paper Pizazz dots, checks, plaids and stripes
           Pink: Activity Village

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Blankets for a good cause

There has been a knitting frenzy happening at work this past week.
We decided to take part in 67 blankets for Mandela Day by making squares which would be stitched together to make blankets for the needy. It was great fun to see who took part. Some of the girls had not touched a pair of needles in years and others where so unsure of their abilities but gave it a go anyway.
We didn't really give ourselves much time, the completed blamket had to be handed over on 1 July and as school closed the week before that, we had to hand in our completed squares by then. All in all we had about a week to knit.

I managed to make seven squares and as a staff we made enough for a full size and a baby's blanket.
We have promised each other that next year we will start earlier.

Here are some of the ladies who made contributions.

(Photo Credit: Linda Horning D.P.H.S.)