Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator Helen Broxap

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Some Christmas Crackers from the Crafty Girls

We had a great Christmas party night at craft group this week.  Those girls know how to put on a good spread as well as making super cards! Some of us decided to join in a Christmas bookmark swap to share ideas. I was amazed at how different all our styles were.  I'm sure they won't mind me showing you some of their creations, along with the handmade Christmas cards given to me. I won't put the names on them just in case.
And here are the cards:

Beautiful aren't they and so different?

And finally this was my bookmark contribution:
Hope you like them, and if I don't get on here again before the hols, a very Happy Christmas to you!  Helen x

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Long time no post

I know it has been an absolute age since I've been on here and posted a picture.  Mainly it has been because I've been struggling with illness on top of an office move and lots of other things.  No time or energy for blogging is not good though (I've even not had time to keep up with reading all the other lovely blogs out there).  So here we go!

First off some cards (well this is what the blog it is supposed to be about!). This card I finished at craft group a while ago.  Another one using a Gorjuss girl image (thank you Karen for the loan of the stamp!) coloured in with pro-markers, this time trying to match the colours to the patterned paper I had found in my off-cuts pile. Pretty colours aren't they?
And here are a couple of close up. I just love ribbons and pins!
Then a couple of other quick cards I've also managed to complete recently.
Secondly, I've been overwhelmed to redress the balance and show you a picture of the scrumptious Meg.  So here is the little muffin after she had made herself a nest out of all the cushions on the sofa.
Hopefully the next post won't be as long in coming!  Must get some Christmas cards done so they might be making an appearance soon...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

What a view!

Well my recent card creation really fitted with my experience this weekend!  But we'll get there in a minute.  I love this stamp from Sheena Douglas.  It reminds me of the beautiful Lakes and North Pennines. I've used it in the past to create a 'Rainbow Bridge' card using subtle pastel colours.  This time I've used my Aquamarkers to create a more autumnal look. Couldn't resist photographing it on my bench with some real autumn leaves! The leaves on the card are more Sheena stamps and I've intensified the colour with Distress Inks (Rusty Hinge is just perfect with a bit of Shabby Shutters!).

So getting back to the weekend.  Well I went with my family to visit a barn conversion my sister and brother-in-law are working on in the North Pennines. And guess what, it rained and it rained and it rained.  All the way they were pointing out of the window and saying things like 'this is the fabulous view of Crossfell, this cafe looks over the Eden Valley, the view of the hills from here is stunning' etc, but in reality all we could see was a bank of cloud through the steamed up windows! You had to laugh really... I've just seen a quote online that the Hartside Pass on the way to Alston is a route named as one of the World's Top Ten Most Scenic drives by the AA. If only... So I had to imagine what it might look like and thankfully I had this card fresh in my mind. But seeing the barn and spending time with family made it all worth while!

On taking the picture above I was interrupted by a little visitor - my furry buddy Thomas.
He was obviously protecting the card from any intruders (OK he was yawning!). Couldn't resist showing you...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A Gorjuss Girly Card

This is an unashamedly pink and girly card!  It was made especially for one of the ladies at the craft group. I am loving the Gorjuss Girl Stamps, especially as it helps me to perfect the ProMarker colouring techniques. I made it into an easel card using a craftwork cards blank and layered the image using my scalloped nesties.
Here's a close up of the little girl:
She reminds me a bit of my middle sister when she was a little girl - with lots of unruly hair!  She'll kill me for saying that if she reads this... Oops!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Baby boy card

How cute is this little fella?  I keep saying I'm not really into cute, but when it comes to baby cards and especially Humphrey the elephant I do get a bit gooey. I remember when I saw my first baby wild elephant on safari in Tanzania and I'm not ashamed to say there were a few blobbers in my eyes.  There is something so endearing about them with their big eyes and even bigger eyelashes, and those comical little trunks and enormous feet. The little eles in Tanzania were running after their mums and trying to hold their tails with their trunks. It was a really special moment - will have to try to find the pictures I took now!

Anyway, back to the card!  The stamp is one of the Humphrey's Corner sets from Crafters Companion, stamped in Memento London Fog, which is much more suited for the soft outline.  Then of course it has been coloured with the ProMarkers - mainly using the blender pen to wash in the colours to a really gentle hue. I've used Coredinations White Wash paper for the mat, punched with a Martha Stewart punch.  The ribbon was actually needed to hide the botched punching (why can I never cut out a square of the right size!) but worked out to be one of those happy accidents.  And finally it has been layered onto a Craftworks Card notched edge 6"x6" square card.

Now I do know someone expecting a baby boy but will I be able to part with this card? Maybe I need to make a duplicate to keep as I really do like it... (anyone else do that?)!

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A seaside card and fabulous at 50

Very quick post today with a couple of my latest cards! First off a good friend and colleague has recently turned 50.  Now there is now way on earth that she looks that old and I am sure her birth certificate must be wrong... We needed a big card to circulate at work so out came the 8x8 square cards again, and I wanted to make it fresh, vibrant and funky.  And a little bit of paisley was also needed to reflect where her hometown.

She loved it and was very thankful that the age was hidden down at the bottom! And now for a little seaside card inspired by my hols in Anglesey.  This time for my cousin who has recently moved there.  The stamps are clarity stamps and of course they are coloured in with my trusty ProMarkers. I was quite pleased with the simplicity of it all.

Wish I was back there, but with weather like this maybe not. I'm resisting putting on the heating seeing that it is still August (just) but it's pretty nippy isn't it? No signs of an Indian summer then...

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Slate, Shells and Sea Glass

And now for something completely different... no card, paper or ribbons in sight!  Last week I was in Anglesey with my family and after a very blustery afternoon beachcombing me and my big sis got to play. This is part of our beachcombing haul:

And this is the beautiful beach.

So here is creation 1 and in keeping with all great artworks it had to have a name and so henceforth it shall be named 'Sea Flower'!

And the second creation is 'Shell Cottage'.  Not quite the amazing creation seen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, but come on, I only had a few shells, a bit of driftwood and some sea glass.  I do love sea glass.  I cannot walk past a bit without squirrelling it away in my pocket.
And finally creation 3!  This little beauty of a clock was mainly made with the help of my brother-in-law and isn't it stylish?  I actually made 2 - one for home and one for my office. I reckon down here in Oxfordshire they would sell for a small fortune.
The mosaics are designed for staying outside so I think I'll hang them near my new garden bench and bring a bit of the beauty of Anglesey and the seaside to my little garden.  Hope you've enjoyed seeing something a bit different!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Wild flowers and birds

 Nature theme, green, birds, ribbons - anyone spotting a theme in most of my cards?  Thankfully my sister is also a fan of all things nature so this is what I've come up with for her birthday card.  Hopefully she'll like it.  The papers are Botanical Gazette from Stamping Up and a bit of green Coredinations to matt with. The ribbon and pins are from my local fabric shop. This is the inside:

I wanted to make it a bit special and carry on the theme.  The bird and flower stamps are Stamping Up again - the Nature Walk set.  I just love these stamps, birds, flowers, bumble bee, butterfly, eggs and a bird cage, and create beautiful crisp images.  If you fancy some for yourself then my friend Tamara sells them and you can see all the details here

Off on hols with the birthday girl this week to Anglesey where hopefully we'll be seeing plenty of birds and wildflowers in real life! And you never know we might even spot a glimpse of Will and Kate (unlikely!).

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Another Sepia-tone Card with the ProMarkers and Copics

Just a quick post today - been a rough couple of weeks and not much time for crafting.  So in danger of repeating myself this is another little card that demonstrates my attempts at using the ProMarkers and Copics to achieve a sepia tone (see here for previous card).  It's actually quite a tiny little easel card using a Craftworks Card elegant rectangle die cut which was scored twice to make the easel.  The Popcorn the Bear stamp is a freebie I got from Crafters Companion during their birthday event last year.  I thought it might be a bit cutesy for me but it's growing on me and I'm sure I've got some friends who quite like cute.

Might be a bit of a gap now before the next blog post but who knows!  Going to Krakow, Poland with work (woo hoo) and then back at the desk for a week before going on hols to Anglesey (double woo hoo!).  Hopefully there'll be more crafting by the sea as I unwind and recharge the batteries...

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Flowers and Ribbons

Sometimes I just love to make an unashamably feminine card - all floral papers, fancy ribbons, pretty flowers and dinky embellishments! This card has been  in my mind for some time so really pleased how it finally came together.  The papers are K&Co, the punched edge is Martha Stewart, the flowers are Prima, and the lovely satin ribbons are from my local fabric shop who do bundles of ribbons for 50p! Even better when you get a bargain...  I've left it 'sentiment free' as I can imagine it being used for a number of different occasions for one of my lovely friends or family. I often do this as I can always add a specific sentiment at a later date.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The things we do when we have to

This is not just any frozen peas compress, this is a Marks and Spencer hand-selected petits pois compress! The things you will do when your head is pounding with a monster migraine...

P.S. I don't normally have M&S petits pois - they were probably on special offer!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

A very proud Auntie

My little nephew painted this owl last night whilst me and his mum were nattering and I think it just brilliant!  When I look at my own efforts in painting and colouring in with ProMarkers, when I haven't even drawn the outline because they are stamped, I am put to shame.  I especially love that the owl has eyelashes - how cute is that?!

Maybe I can pick up some hints and tips as I'm about to embark on an online journalling class dreamed up by the very talented Kirsty Wiseman that is called Me in My Moleskine.  With my love of nature, maybe a picture of a little owl can sneak its way in somehow.   My kit arrived yesterday all wrapped in pink tissue.  Take a look below:
What you can't see are lots of little strips of card with 'fill in the blank' sentences that I'll need to fill in all about ME!  Bit scary but hopefully it will be good to look back on when I am old and crazy (OK the crazy bit already applies!).  The class looks brilliant - there is an online live streamed session this week, a private forum to discuss what we are doing, a flikr group to show our creations, a class workbook etc. Can't wait! I'm sure I'll be posting some of  pages in the journal on the blog so keep a watch out.

Right off to bedskis.  Glad it has cooled down a bit.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Using up stash

Do you ever come across some papers that you bought ages ago and then think why haven't you used them yet?  Well this little card is made from some delicious papers and embellishments I got in the prettiest pink box ages ago (QVC I think). At the time I couldn't bear to cut them up but they've finally got the chop!  Hope you like it.  Hoping for some crafty time this weekend (well it is throwing it down) so maybe they'll be a few more creations next week...

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

ProMarker Storage

As promised to Rochelle, here's the first view of my new ProMarker storage.  I've tried some different things but I really wanted to have something that would make the pens easy to access (I'm too impatient with pen wallets or tying up with elastic bands), separate my pens into different colour groups for ease of blending, be in a nice strong storage box, and be convenient for carrying to the craft group.  Well this is what I came up with.  I have bought a 3L Really Useful Box from HobbyCraft for £2.79 - see here. The pens just fit - sometimes you need to wiggle them a bit when putting on the lid but it works.
At the moment I have separated the pens with cardboard dividers but I hope to make something better with stronger plastic when I have time. The categories are browns/neutrals, purples, pinks & reds, yellows & oranges, greens, blues and greys, and a spare section for swaps/doubles. I have then got some little white stickers (they were for a wall planner) and coloured in the dots before sticking them on the lids.  This way I can find the colours easily and I also know how the colours actually work in real life (sometimes they are a little different than the colour on the tube).  And there is still plenty of space for any new ProMarkers that might want to join my collection in the future :-)

I'm sure this is sooooo boring to many people, but to my tidy/organised friends like Rochelle and Karen, I'm sure they will love it!  It will also perpetuate my reputation in the craft group as being a little bit OCD with my storage and labelling solutions, but there you go.  Happy for others to copy! Go forth and organise...

Monday, 20 June 2011

Let them eat cake

Well here is the finished cake table (or the cake tableau as we were calling it!).  There were a selection of cakes that needed bringing together with one theme.  As the overall party theme was 1960s the paper flowers and copious amounts of dolly mixtures did just the trick. The tablecloth didn't look quite so creased on the day... I must point out that the turquoise flower in the bottom left was made my friend Ilze (just in case her sister is reading this! Hello Ilze's sister!).  Here are some close ups:

And how serindiptously they tied in with the table decorations (I had no idea pink and green was the theme!).

And most importantly, the birthday girl, Joan, who was over the moon with both the cake and how the whole party went. 
We all had a fantastic time with the games, scrummy tea and cakes, dancing to the sounds of the 60s, space-hopper races, lots and lots of laughter and rounded it all off with a trip to the chippy on the way on  home! A perfect day.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Paper Flowers

Pretty or what? I've been making some paper flowers from a Craftwork Cards kit to decorate a cake table at a birthday party.  The idea of how the table will all come together is still in my head but couldn't resist sharing the sherbety-colours of the flowers and just how gorgeous they are (and easy to make)! I'll try to remember to take a picture of the cake table before the cake is hacked into and post it next week.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Promarkers and Copics - Sepia tones

After being inspired by the very talented Nikky Hall at Polkadoodles, and having received some new ProMarkers to add to my ever expanding collection, I thought I would have a go at achieving a Sepia effect using a limited number of pens (as demonstrated by Nikky on Create and Craft).  The focal image is a Greetings Farm stamp called Dahlia, a gift from Karen which has been used and used.  As usual I've used my Martha Stewart punches, Nestabilities and a bit of ribbon to accent.  The oak leaves and acorns are Sheena Douglass 'A Little Bit Sketchy - Autumn Leaves' stamps. I know it is summer, but the sepia tones were just crying out to be mixed with autumnal leaves. And you know I love a bit of nature...  And the Oak tree being my joint top favourite tree (with the Weeping Willow) I had to buy these stamps when I saw them.  Bit sad having top favourite trees isn't it, but that's just me! Maybe I've got a bit of Ent in me.

Here's a close up of the image - click on the image if you want to see it close up.
I used a combination of Copics and ProMarkers. Still got to put in more practise to get perfect shading and 'shiny hair' but starting to get there.   As I'm on orders to try to relax and de-stress a bit this week, I think some colouring might just be the ticket. Any excuse hey?!

Friday, 10 June 2011

An oldie but a goodie

Needed an emergency birthday card and was rooting in my card box and came across this scrumptious chocolate and marshmallow card I made a while ago. No idea why it never made the blog at the time so here it is! Most of it has been made with Craftwork Cards products.  I don't know what it is about brown and pink that really appeals to me but I come back to this colour combination time and again.  It reminds me of strawberry creams, which reminds me of my Gran as they were her favourite chocs. Gran always got the pick of the box and my Grandad got left with "the 'ard ones as he won't know the difference anyway"! Poor Grandad...

Been a bit of a rough week so no new projects have been completed so it was a good job I found this card. Hopefully something new next time. Hope you've all had a better week.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Boxes and crafting pals

I must say my new crafting tool obsession is The Boxer Board by Crafters Companion.

Feeling a bit guilty that I have also passed this obsession on to my sister and brother-in-law who spent Sunday evening making loads of boxes! It is soooo clever how it just makes perfectly fitting box bases and lids. I also love it for measuring cm and inch increments, and it is so handy for paper pleating. So many uses! Loving it. So what have I made? Well here are a couple of boxes that I rustled up in literally minutes.

First is a little box made with Ivory Centura Pearl Card.  I have embossed a scalloped design around the edges, and topped it with some little handmade flowers (thanks to Karen's instructions!) and ribbon. I'm imagining this will be a good box for a jewellery gift for someone (good job I can make jewellery as well!).

Here's a close up of the flowers.  I'm loving the subtle cream on cream look at the moment (with a tiny touch of lemon!).

The second box is a lot brighter - I wanted it to be a bit more folksy.

It's been made to house a set of notelets I've made as a birthday present for a friend. As I was taking the picture my cheeky marmalade cat came for a look see and sneaked into the picture.  He hates being left out!

I'm sure this board will be used for many, many projects in the future!