Bella Blvd has a great giveaway package - ALL of their new releases to a blog commenter AND A FRIEND if you go and make a comment too! Just hop on over to this blog post, do lots of drooling (I just LOVE the die cut stickers) and then leave a comment, mentioning that I sent you over (Suzanne Torr if you don't know my full name).
Here's hoping that one of my lovely friends or followers gets lucky with me (ooer, but you know what I mean!).
Lots of fun stuff to drool over.
And lots of fun giveaways to be found.
Making Memories has lots of giveaways over the next day or so - head on over to their blog and keep refreshing so as not to miss out on your chance to win some goodies :)
I used a lot less patterned paper than I usually do, which was a huge challenge for me!
Patterned paper - Prima, K&Co and My Minds Eye
Plain cardstock - Bazzill
Metal frame, metal rimmed tag - Making Memories
Brads - HOTP, Queen & Co, Autumn Leaves
Adhesive crystals - Papermania
Stamps - Hero Arts (Thoughtful Messages, All Occasion Messages, Dolls, Hello Birdie and A3321 Cherish and S1838 Florentine Scroll Background (both older stamps)
Inks - Ranger, Versamark, ColorBox
Clear Embossing powder
Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder
Brief how to:
Hooray, finished the teacher gifts. Bit miffed as I think DS nicked two of the cookies. Coupled with the fact that the cookies I did failed (thankfully the ones the girls did were a big success). However, this meant that one person had to be 'knocked' off the list (not a person who actually teaches either of my girls). A bit disappointed but it was 2am when I realised and I wasn't about to start baking again then!
Anyhow, we handed the gifts out this morning, they were well received, the boxes looked pretty but I think the fact that the girls did the baking last night after coming back late from the school trip was the thing the teachers liked the best. Hope they enjoy them with their cuppas at break/lunch time!
I spent ages trying to perfect the template. It still could have done with tweaking a bit, but time was marching on and it folded up fine. The flaps at the bottom were not strong enough to hold the box shut with the weight of the cookies. I didn't think they would be, but I'm not skilled enough of a paper engineer to have figured out how to do the closing at the top. I think the twine tied at the top into a bow looks pretty though and it did give the tags somewhere to go (NB photos taken before the girls had written on the tags, but after they were written, they were tied into the bow on the top of each house).
I used Hero Arts stamps - scallop border and scallop 'for you' stamps from the dolls cleardesign set, the thanks sentiment from the thoughtful messages set and the little bird and you're special sentiment from the hello birdie set.
Butterflies were stamped using Conversation Dots then punched out.
The little row of hearts is from a Studio G stamp set.
Patterned paper is a mix from Around the Block, Scenic Route, Cloud 9, Papermania, Imaginesce, Dream Street and Tinkering Ink.
Chipboard bird Maya Road (used as template)
Cuttlebug swirls embossing folder
Patterned paper - Around the Block
Stamps - Hero Arts
Bird - used Maya Road chipboard bird as a template
Embossing folder - Cuttlebug
Ink - ColorBox
The cookies in the photo were a prototype too! We made three batches to compare recipes, have chosen our favourite and will do three batches, one double choc, one choc and one white choc. Hopefully there will be enough for one of each cookie for each birdhouse. Having counted up I have got to make 9 houses, so minimum 27 cookies. Oh and I think there must be a national shortage of white choc chips ... Sainsbury's didn't have any, Morrisons didn't have any so it took a trip to a third town to Tesco to finally track some down!
Okay. Back to creating!
Okay, I am not a die hard stamper. I don't think of myself as a great cardmaker. I am a scrapbooker through and through. But I absolutely adore the Hero Arts blog. And the website. And the flickr pool. Just so much inspiration. Inspiration in how to use their stamps, inspiration in great design, inspiration in the little details, and inspiration in the use of colour. It's one of the few blogs that I make sure to check out every single day.
They also run challenges and competitions (with fab prizes) every week. And this week there are double (or more) chances to win! Why? Because they are working up to revealing their new look website. This week, as well as the challenges, there are random drawings, so check out their blog ...
These are some cards I did using my leftovers from the gorgeous My Mind's Eye Bloom collection for the DT work at A Trip Down Memory Lane this month. I have been selling off some old stash to buy some new albums and had a bit of cash left over so treated myself to a really versatile sentiments set from Hero Arts. And rather than sit and look at them for ages, I actually used them straight away!
On the first card I also used the scallop from the dolls set and the flowers (embossed in white on the third card) from the thoughtful messages set (I adore the range of sentiments and their designs on this set, I have used them LOTS!). The fourth card features a sentiment from the dolls set and the small flower from the thoughtful message set. I am really not very good at coming up with different ways to use stamps ... hence my adoration of the Hero Arts site ... but even I am starting to get just how versatile each set can be.
I also used the scallops stamp, a sentiment and little birdie on one of my pages for the DT gallery over at A Trip Down Memory Lane.
Oh, and the black scallop on this fourth card ... well ages ago (last year) I made a mess of a title I was creating on one of the Maya Road sheer journaling spots. I had put sticker letters on and then attempted to outline them with pen. Made a mess, huge mess, but couldn't bear to throw the scallop away! So for this, I just cut out the offending centre section and backed it with some patterned paper! Yes. I am frugal!
There were lots of little displays, dance teams, band display, kite flying display, kids magician and so on. But the highlight of the day for me (and I guess most people there) were the dancing diggers. J C Balls is an excavation and earth moving company based in the village, not to be confused with the rather more well known manufacturer with the same initials (though JC Balls does use JCB's!). These drivers were fantastic. They don't do shows for a living. They don't get lots of time to practice the routines, but it was totally impressive nonetheless. I didn't take my camera with me so I have snagged these photos from their website.
My kids didn't dress up this year, none of them are too fond of dressing up at all to be honest. Joshua, in particular, was very resistant! I did this page a while ago about the year the Playgroup float theme was Teletubbies. Joshua refused to be a Tubby or a flower or a bunny so we compromised and I did a mask for him to hold up to his face and he wore brown and orange and had a crepe paper tail, to be the lion. Yes, at some point at the beginning of the Tubbies there was a lion featured. But I think the pc brigade got in the way and he was deemed to be too frightening for the kids! They obviously didn't ask Josh, as far as he was concerned, the more fierce the character, the better!
I know ... I have posted this layout before ... but I thought this time I would give a bit of information on how I created it.
On a scrap piece of 12x12 (I keep the plain insert sheets from scrapbook albums for this type of thing) I sketched out the sun and sunrays. I used that as a template to cut the sun from the orange cardstock. I originally left the centre of the sun orange, but decided once I had placed everything else that the black would provide for a greater contrast with the photos and title. So I cut out the centre of the sun and backed that with black cardstock. The cut out sun was then placed on the dotty patterned paper background (which I think is Crate Paper from memory).
I attached the photos at varying angles, leaving the top of the larger photo unstuck as a pocket for the journaling tag. I printed the journaling on blue cardstock, leaving space at the top and bottom for the cut down journaling spot (Making Memories) to be added.
As it was such a busy page, I kept the embellishing fairly simple (well, simple for me!). I created the little windmills (pinwheels) to keep in with the Teletubby imagery and used 7Gypsies word stickers for the 'handles'.
To create the pinwheels:
Take a square piece of double sided patterned paper. Lightly run two pencil lines diagonally point to point. Make a centimetre or so from the centre along each pencil line.
Cut from each of the four corners up to the marks you have made, rub out the pencil lines and then fold over every other section so the pointed corners overlap at the centre. You may want to use a little bit of glue at each point which meets at the centre to hold in place.
Use a paper piercer to put a hole through all layers and fasten it together with a brad.
I added some 'grass' at the bottom by snipping down a strip of unevenly cut patterned paper. For dimension I flicked some of the snipped edge. I stitched it in place with black thread for contrast. This bottom section provides a good 'grounding' for the rest of the page to sit on.
I finished off the page with stickers and gems. The circle stickers are from the bottom of my stash pile, being very old Artic Frog stickers. Placing them at that corner provides a visual triangle and added balance in relation to the positioning of the windmills. For extra definitioan I outlined the sun and windmills with black pen and added Stickles over the top of the sun outline for a bit of shine.
I am also going to start working on - starting right now - updating the list of manufacturer websites/blog links which is in the side bar.
If you are reading this and know of any not on there, just give me a link, if you don't mind. I am just going to go and start checking for broken links first and then will be working on adding new manufacturers (and deleting obsolete ones :().