Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator Helen Broxap

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Red and White Wreath

Very quick post to show you the wreath I made for my office door! Gone for a more Scandinavian feel in red and white papermania papers. A colleague has already posted it's pic on facebook and twitter so it must have gone down well :-)

Hope you like it.  The gold version on my house door will follow shortly.

Helen x

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A Christmas Wreath (Julkrans)

Hej hej (Swedish for hello!)

This weekend I had the pleasure to go and visit some lovely friends in Lund Sweden. It was starting to feel a lot like Christmas as we visited a traditional crafts fair, and tried lots of festive Swedish foods like saffron rolls and sampled different kinds of glögg :-) .  Other highlights included popping into visiting the cathedral and walking in on a concert rehearsal of Mozart's Requiem which was sublime, and getting a warm welcome at a local church.  I must admit I love Swedish design and some of the crafts at the fair were amazing. I'm a sucker for all the red and white, and wood carving, paper star lights and little elves.

So it was a bit of a risk taking a homemade present as a thank you to my friends, but thankfully I got a great idea from my friend Nicky from craft group of a paper wreath. She made one here in black and cream, and it really is stunning.  As a Stampin' Up demonstrator Nicky always has some great ideas so it is definitely worth looking at her blog

Well here is my version, which I made with a polystyrene ring, Anna Griffin Christmas papers, and a whole bunch of pins.  I was a bit worried that the pins would set off the alarms at airport security but thankfully they didn't.  It was just me that had to go through the body scanner!

They liked it that much it went straight up on the door. Phew... Here's a close up of the ribbon and the paper curls.
I've plans to make a few more as Christmas presents so you might see them popping up here again in different colours.

Vi ses snart! (Swedish for see you soon)

Helen x

Friday, 31 August 2012

Seaside cards for the men using Clarity Stamps and ProMarkers

I know it is always a bit difficult making cards for men. Since I've invested in some Clarity seaside and lighthouse stamps the cards I've been making have seemed to go down pretty well! I've also been developing my promarker style and love using them for moody backgrounds, landscapes and seas and have really enjoyed using them in a bit of a different way to what we normally see on crafty cards.  Some other examples can be found here and here. To me they are just another medium to exercise my love of colour blending to achieve depth and atmosphere.  Let me know what you think - would love to hear your comments...

Anyway, here's the first - a 60th birthday card for a friend who loves messing about on boats!
Decorated with a bit of faux suede cord tied in a reef knot (can you tell I was a girl guide!) and a little punched and stamped 60.

Close up of the colouring. Having just got back from Anglesey, the sky and sea are pretty accurate - not exactly Mediterranean blue in this climate!

The second card is for my cousin who moved to Anglesey last year and being a rocky island there are plenty of lighthouses around the coast.  So Barbara's lighthouse stamp was perfect!  I wanted to achieve a bit of the stormy atmosphere around the lighthouse that we often get there so lots of dark blues and greys.
There is a lighthouse just of Penmon Point (one of my favourite places on this enchanted island) which really inspired me - wonder if Barbara has been there too?!
Not sure if he's got it yet but hope he likes it!

Would to hear what you think of these cards. I know I don't have many followers but I do appreciate everyone who takes time to to look at my little creations.

Helen x

Friday, 3 August 2012

Dandelion Fairy

Anyone who has visited my garden knows that I am quite a fan of the humble dandelion (well that is my excuse as to why there are so many in the lawn!).  It is a cheery little plant though and the buzzy bees seem to like them, and they are friends with my favourite little daisies :-).  So I just had to get the Dandelion Fairy stamps from Clarity Stamps, and I had the excuse to make this card for my lovely friend Karen on her birthday. I've been dying to post the photos but it's taken ages for us to meet up... Anyway, here it is:
The stamped images are created with a Versamark inkpad and dusted with Cosmic Shimmer powder - I tried about 3 different types of powders, embossing etc until I got the detail I wanted. Here are a couple of close ups:

Karen being a bit of a perfectionist and finishing off her cards so well, she needed a matching insert as well!
Anyway, so glad we got to meet up, do crafty shopping, compare notes on new purchases, and of course have coffee and cake! Just what we both needed I think (best not mention the dress that forced me to buy it in Laura Ashley though - naughty dress)...

Bye for now,

Helen x

A little box of blessings

It is so hard to find contemporary Christian images or quotes in the crafty world.  Most look so old fashioned or ugly, but I finally found some really cute stamps.  I wanted to make some notecards for a friend of mine who is a really big encourager who sends little  notes to her friends all over the world.  The art of the written word has not been overtaken by email in her world! So here are the cards.
And a close up of the images which were coloured with pro-markers (of course).

They were just crying out for an little box so out came the Envelobox board again, along with some lush Amy Butler paper from K&Company from my stash, topped with some satin ribbon and a cute peg.

I'd like to make some more of these little notelet sets as presents so watch this space...

Helen x

Saturday, 21 July 2012

40th Card for a Man

I'm never sure what to do for cards for male friends and family.  But my crafty group friend Tamara seems to always make some nice clean and simple male cards and I'm sure I remember seeing something like this style on her blog but can't find it but click here for the rest of her blog as there are some fab card ideas there :-) Hope you don't mind, Tam! 

Anyway it went down well with my work colleague so I guess that all that matters.  And guess what, it is green - funny that!

Papers used were Papermania secret garden ones which I haven't used in so long.  Thanks for the inspiration Tam, and hope it inspires others.

Helen x

Monday, 2 July 2012

A Gorjuss Stepper Card

Earlier in the year I got invited to a Teddy Bears Picnic (they are not just for little girls, although there were quite a few there as well).  The organiser, who happens to be one of my closest friends, had a birthday this month so I just had to use the Gorjuss Girls stamp with the little bear.  So cute!

I added to the image to a stepper card similar to my previous one .  The pretty paper is Kate Knight, and the flowers are craftwork cards (as usual!).

Here's a close up of the flowers on the stepper.

It has been coloured with my trusty Pro&Flex Markers.She's such a nice stamp to colour as the image isn't too fiddly.

Such an embellished card needed an extra special envelope.  So I had to whip out the Enveloplus Board from Crafters Companion. Such an easy tool to use to make super envelopes like this:

At least it made a bit of a first impression and the card was very much appreciated. Hope you like it too!

Helen x

Saturday, 30 June 2012

A simple but special engagement

A lovely friend of mine has just got engaged.  It is such a beautiful story a film should be written about it.  I probably don't have permission to tell you (so don't pass it on!) but it involved her doing voluntary work in a mission hospital in a far off place, giving blood in an emergency and fainting into a kind doctor's arms. Totally romantic! Here's the simple card I made for her:

I wanted it clean and simple and for the image to speak more than words.  I used a martha stewart punch for the birds and grounded them on a branch I drew freehand with a sakura glitter pen. It is mounted on a craftwork cards blank and I embossed around the edge to help it stand out.  Here's a close up:

Simple but nice, and here's wishing the happy couple a lifetime of happiness.

Helen x

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Ruby, ruby, ruby, ruby

OK back to some papercrafts (I feel a couple of posts coming on so beware...). First off my friend's parents have just celebrated their Ruby Wedding.  In talking to the Dad who doesn't usually send cards, I persuaded him to send one if I made one for him! Hence the following card to 'wife'... It has to be better than the card my Dad sent to my Mum once that said inside 'Masel Tov on your Bat Mitzah' (which he obviously hadn't read!). Needless to say that went down like a ton of bricks...

Pity the red mirri card is a bit too reflective for the camera. Then there was a card I made for them from me.  As they've recently enjoyed some dancing lessons I couldn't resist using some of the Jolly Nation characters I had in my stash. I jazzed up the dress with a bit of red glitter pen to match the glittery background. Totally Strictly! 

Hope they went down well with the happy couple.

I'll be back soon.

Helen x

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Knit, knit, knit

Well the little fella has arrived (and is totally adorable).  I won't say more online except to say all is well and I am a very proud auntie, my new nephew is a cute as a button and my sister is a super mummy!

To welcome him into the world I've been knitting some little bits and bobs for him.  Now, I'm no expert knitter to say the least.  I can barely do knit and purl so I am really pleased with how they came out. Anyway, I much prefer plain knits to fancy, fussy knits, especially for a boy. What do you think of them?

A little beanie hat - he also has one of these in cream.

Some very dinky little booties. A snazzy red pair are in progress!

A little pom pom hat.  

Now very quick tip, if you are making pom poms don't go faffing with all those bit of cardboard circles cut from cereal packets - get yourself a clover pom pom maker - most clever little gadget I've bought in years.  Even my other nephew and brother-in-law were impressed with the mechanics of it! Boys and their toys...

Finally I wanted to make a blanket.  I got the pattern free from here.  I used the Mary's blanket pattern.  As it is for a preemie it is only small but it fits perfect in the moses basket or for wrapping over his little legs in the car seat or when you are holding him.  My sister liked it anyway and it was so satisfying to make it. Here it is folded up:

I think I'll have to make one for their hospital appeal as a thank you for the pattern.

I hope you card-makers out there aren't too bored (I did warn you in my blurby bit that I do like all crafts!).  I'll get back to posting some cards next time as I have a few made up ready to photograph.

Until next time!

Helen x

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A parade of baby elephants

So who knew that the collective noun for a group of elephants is a 'parade'? Makes sense when you see them walking all trunk to tail in a dignified row.  So what's this got to do with craft, I hear you say?

Well my lovely sister is soon to have a baby and I've been making her a heap of thank you cards for all the kind people who are showering her with presents already.  Like Christmas cards, I had to keep them quite simple to get the quantity done so I reverted back to my favourite Humphrey stamp and coloured them with promarkers, cut them out with a nestie, stamped a Paula Pascual 'thank you' and stuck it all together et voilà!
 So here they are. Sorry the light is so bad - it was crazy weather yesterday and taking indoors was too dark (I get too much reflection from the flash so prefer outside) and then outside the sun was coming through the willow trees so I was getting a dappled effect.  I so need some photography lessons to get the best piccies I can with my camera!  Anyway, at least the close ups are better.  And I can't complain about the sun shining through the willows.  I'm so privileged to be living next to a canal with beautiful willow trees and wildlife galore.

 I actually really love the simple design so you might be seeing more basic cards in the future! I've not been brilliant health-wise recently so these are a little overdue but at least they have been posted to my sister before the baby has been born!! I'm also working on some Peter Rabbit cards that will be winging their way to her soon as well so keep a look out here for their appearance shortly. 

I am beyond excited about meeting the little munchkin when the time comes... I love being an Aunty.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Sweet Meadow

OK I'm going to put it out there, I love Craftwork Cards! Since the girls at the craft group introduced me to them years ago, I have loved their products especially their card blanks, yummy papers, templates and candi.  Any regular follower of my blog will have seen that most of my projects have used some of their products. But I have amassed so much of their loveliness (too many goody bags bought in their sales!) that I have to start using some of it up. It doesn't help that I won a Privilege Club membership which is enticing me to treat myself to more yumminess as well...

Last week I dug out some of my kits and made up the following cards.  Not having been so well recently, and not having much energy means I only go and play for short periods.  Having all coordinating materials really helps when the brain is a bit fried.  So here are two of the pretty cards made from the Sweet Meadow kit:

I love the pink and green colour scheme here - could be my favourite colour combination, and  the lovely Julie Hickey's artwork is fab. You might be seeing a few more of them very soon if I finish some off and get them photographed.
Hopefully won't be as long before a I blog again! 
Helen x

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Any excuse for an excess of pink....

So Mothers' Day has loomed thick and fast after my Mum's birthday and had to get my act together to bring a card together.  I'd been inspired by some Lili of the Valley  projects in Papercraft Inspirations this month, especially with the free digi stamp images.  So here is my attempt:

As I said in the title, any excuse for an excess of pink. 

Here are a couple of close-ups of the detail:

 The white flowers have been made from the Tattered Florals die, the little purple ones were a gift from Karen, and as usual the image has been coloured with pro-markers and flexies. What a dinky image hey?!

And finally the card got the seal of approval from Thomas along with a little kiss before it was popped in the post:
Thankfully, Mum loves it, although it did take her about 5 attempts to work out how to stand it up! I'd helpfully drawn a little diagram on a post-it for her, but then forgot to put it in the envelope - typical me... Anyway, hope you like my version of the card.

Helen x

Sunday, 26 February 2012

A little girl for a big sister

Who says you get too old for cards like this:

My big sister, and I won't give away her age, loved it!  Especially as I parted with some of my most favourite Basic Grey Sultry papers  for her and she knows they are usually just for stroking and not cutting. The Gorjuss girl has been coloured in Promarkers and Flexmarkers and I was really pleased to have got a more washed out/subtle effect this time, much as it would be if she was being exposed to the typical Manchester drizzle that I grew up with.

Glad she liked it and hope you do too!

P.S. Sorry the photos are a bit fuzzy. Will try harder next time ;-) 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Slate Coasters

I was very sad to remove the beautiful snowdrops picture from the top of my blog, but I can't never post again can I?!  This is just a quick post with some more Welsh slate creations.  We've just moved into a new office and it is fabulous - all bright colours and funky designs (I was very happy to get on the design team and certainly got to put my stamp on our working space).  In reception we have a slate grey leather sofa and needed some new coasters.  So I summoned my brother-in-law to the rescue, and he has created these:
I used my large circle nestie die to cut out felt for the backings, and they look great. Perfect fit for the office. Simple but stylish.  He's also created a slate score board for the table tennis table - must remember to take a photo so I can highlight more of his creativity. I think living with my sister has rubbed off on him! Thanks R&R :-)

More of my own designs soon.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Snowdrops and Chocolates - two of my favourite things

I love birthdays for being able to connect with family and friends from all over the world and to indulge in a few of my favourite things.  I've been a very lucky girl again this year, and I never really have favourites but do you know what present I can't stop looking at, or smelling, or touching?  Take a luck at these beauties:

What makes them more special is that they were handpicked for me.  Snowdrops encompass that perfect blend of delicacy and strength, surviving in the freezing cold but looking so pretty.  I can't believe I'm going to get poetic here, but I guess poetry is another (great!) form of creativity, but the words of Ted Hughes still ring in my head about snowdrops "Her pale head heavy as metal" - that little flower pushing up through the icy ground but heralding spring and assuring us that all is not dead in the frozen earth. And look at these little flowers; who'd have thought they could achieve so much:
Getting back to craft, instead of Thank You cards this year I decided to make little boxes of suprises.  And coincidentally I ended up keeping the snowdrop colour theme! 
Following along with my usual nature theme, don't you just love the little birdies?  I stamped the images using some Inkadinkado stamps, and a little thank you stamp from a Dawn Bibby set my nephew bought me, both from Topaz Crafts.  The boxes are constructed on my very clever boxer board out of Stampin Up Very Vanilla and Certainly Celery card.  The green is just the scrummiest shade.  And take a quick look at the even scrummier contents...
Like I say, don't you just love birthdays?!  And snowdrops!