Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator Helen Broxap

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Absolutely Fabulous Red and White Flowers

The sentiment 'Absolutely Fabulous' was just made for this over-the-top glamorous card:
 This is a twisted easel card made with one of my many Craftwork Cards goody bags.  The flowers are just held together with teeny tiny amounts of PVA tacky glue. That's all they need!  Just decide how they will join and then add a smidgen with a cocktail stick. Amazing! This is the side view showing the construction.

The leaves and butterfly are trusty Martha Stewart punches, and the antennae lovely Karen gave to me!  Here's a view from above to show the sentiment:
Now I need to pick one of my absolutely fabulous friends to send this to. I did a purple version of this card some time ago. I purposely didn't look at the previous card so it wouldn't be a straight copy.  Now I can't decide which one I prefer!

I've another cake creation coming  up, and some more floral cards and fancy boxes so watch this space! Hopefully it'll mean you'll be seeing me once again in blogland and I really hope I get around to visiting some blogs and making comments again.  I've missed seeing what amazing creations all you fabulous crafters have been making, but I'm still getting back on my feet after a health setback in the summer. But the approaching Christmas season is getting my creative juices running again :-)

Helen x

Saturday, 2 November 2013

A few more everyday cards

Very simple buttons and sentiment with some faux stitching.
I found this topper I'd embossed ages ago. Loving the ribbon!

Craftwork cards flowers and candy with a patterned Kate Knight paper inside. Oh and trios of liquid pearls again.

That's it. Short and sweet but glad the crafting bug is continuing. Hope you are in and keeping warm in this dreadful weather.

Helen x

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Roses and Pearls

I've been really inspired by the recent Craftwork Cards Goody Box which contained lots of beautiful die-cut flowers to make roses, wreaths and other lovely things.  I've made a couple of cards copying straight from Julie's inspiration sheet and here they are:

As you can see the first is a birthday card with a trio of roses that have been inked and shaped.  I'm afraid I've also got the liquid pearls bug so you'll be seeing more of them in my next few creations!  I just love the extra dimension they give to cards, especially when using them as a border, or in this case in little groups of dots.  This card has already been given away.  It is a special birthday card for my administrator at work, without whom I'd be really stuck.  She definitely deserves an extra special card for all she does for me! Here's a close up of the roses.
The next card I think could be used for a Wedding or Anniversary, as well as a birthday. 

On this card the pearls have been used as a border.  I am loving the combination of Tea Dye Distress Ink and Platinum Liquid Pearls - almost as if the are designed to go together. 

Lovely feminine cards aren't they?  I love Julie Hickey's designs and now I've done a couple of straight copies from the kit, I feel confident I could adapt them to my own creations. Hope you like them too!


Monday, 30 September 2013

An Irish Blessing

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I love this saying.  Living in Oxford means that a lot of people come here for a short time and then move away, and a good friend of mine was leaving this weekend for Scotland. I wanted an understated but stylish card suitable for a man so the challenge was on. Having been ill for a few months, which has kept me out of the craft room, I was dying to get my fingers all inky again!

Kraft cards couldn't be better for me as they fit well with my nature themes, and appropriately this card has turned out quite autumnal.  The background is stamped with a stampin' up set. I loved the transparency of the skeleton leaves, as well as the 'splodge' stamp which made it look like water drops had splattered on the surface. I used distress inks in walnut stain, vintage photo, and bundled sage.  Here's a little close up, along with buttons (bargain pack from The Works!) which are the perfect non-blingy embelishment for the guys.
The main image has been built up using Claritystamp  products, and techniques demonstrated by the wonderful Barbara Gray.
I purposely kept the background quite stark so the words would be the part to draw the eye. As a first foray into the inky world for some time, and being in a bit of a rush, I was quite happy with how this turned out. Wouldn't mind having a play with the stamps again to see how I could improve things. So you never know I might have a new post up again soon.

Helen x

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Bicycle Cake

So here is the second cake that I was challenged to make this summer!  My really good friend Samantha is a bit obsessed with bicycles.  When she was getting a new car and it was plain old boring silver, she decorated it (well me and a friend decorated whilst she admired it!) with bicycle and flower stickers.  It looks like this:


So when her big birthday was looming and we were planning the party she also wanted a bicycle on her cake. Not easy hey?  Anyway this is what I came up with - more of a cake tableau than a bicycle on a cake!

I used two bought cakes for the wheels as I wasn't going to be able to bake big enough cakes in my temperamental oven.  Then I just had to create the bike frame and fill the basket with flowers. I love flower arranging but rarely get chance to indulge so it was nice to work with such bright colourful and beautifully scented flowers for the basket. To get an idea of perspective the board is A1 so it is pretty massive.  And just about enough for the 100s of guests who came to the party.  She's made so many friends from church, work etc and people came from all over the country and even overseas.  It was a wonderful day, set in a village hall with adjoining field.  

Samantha chose a vintage country fayre kind of feel with bouncy castle, space-hoppers, rounders, hot dog stand, ice-cream stand, gospel choir, sketches, afternoon tea with cake stands, and a quiz and live music in the evening. Something for everyone. It really was a very special day!

You never know you might get to see some cards again soon :-)

Helen x

Thursday, 18 July 2013

A Lion Cake for the Little Cub


My gorgeous little nephew Leo celebrated his first birthday a couple of months ago and his mummy set me the challenge of making him a lion cake. So here it is!  The mane is piped chocolate buttercream which the little fella just loved :-).  I'd been scouring Pinterest for ideas but none were quite what I was looking for so I ended up just making it up.

Here it is on the table with the candles etc. Mitzy Ritz the little black and white cat approved of her feline cousin.

Leo's mummy was happy so that is all that matters!

I've got another cake to show you in my next blog post. Been a bit rough with my health and managing work, especially in all this heat, so had to take a bit of a break from the cards for a while but hopefully I'll get to play a bit this weekend! Here's hoping :-)

Helen x

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

70th Wedding Anniversary - Platinum

I got a commission this month - well two really.  One of my best friend's parents-in-law were celebrating their 70th Wedding Anniversary.  Well first we had to look it up and apparently it is Platinum, and secondly you can't find many cards out there for a 70th Wedding Anniversary (or any for that matter).  Imagine how special it must be to celebrate 70 years! So it gave me chance to totally personalize the cards - one from the two of them, and one from her dad. Their's had to take centre stage with the one that they sent off for from The Queen so I knew it had to be special. So I did a bit of research and found out that the lovely bride had pink roses in her bouquet on her wedding day in 1943, and so along with platinum theme this is what I came up with:

It is quite a large card - 8"x8", custom made from Centura Pearl in Ivory, which has such an amazing sheen to it.  The roses are Anna Griffin decoupaged stickers, which I formed into a wreath, overlain on a Anna Griffin background paper, punched in a circle, and accented with Platinum Liquid Pearls (this months obsession!). The sentiment is bespoke as well! Here's a little close up.

Well of course such a special card wouldn't go in any normal envelope so out came the boxer board as well:

I completely forgot to take a picture of the insert but I had found a very special Christian-themed verse online which was perfect for them. Apparently the special couple were over-the-moon with the card, especially the effort that Jane had made in getting it so personalised.  There is no greater compliment to the crafter than the giver and the recipient both being pleased with the results. Probably not my usual simple style but you have to adapt to those in a different generation don't you?

The second card was a smaller card just focusing on the platinum theme.  This was definitely a good stash buster - card blank I've had for ages, a ribbon offcut, and bead embellishment from who knows where, and scraps of cards punched out for the sentiment. But doesn't it look elegant?

I hope you like them.  Sorry most of the photos are on a funny angle.  I must have had a wonky head that day, and trying to fix on the computer was making the pics blurry so you'll have to tilt your heads too to really appreciate them :-)!

I've got another couple of dolly mixtures cards nearing completion so I'll be back with them soon.

Helen x

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Time for spring

Don't you think it is about time for spring!  Well May Day started with frost here in Oxfordshire but the sun soon came out to play and it has been a beautiful day.  Really hoping it will last this time.  I didn't make it to May Morning in Oxford as it was just too early.  Missed sleep = a week of misery for me. So how about a little card sprinkled with the spring daisies that are starting to pop up in my lawn?

I started by creating a custom gatefold out of some A4 Kraft Card from CWC, as are most of the bits on this card.  The daisies are one of the Delightful Daisies wreaths cut out and split in half.  I used some flowers from the Privilege kit but also punched some out and added some from my stocks to jazz them up. I love the pink and green checks. So fresh and classy.  Here's a view to see them in a bit more 3D:

And then opening up the card to see what's inside:

And finally the full inside:

I've not made a gatefold card in such a long time and I actually really enjoyed it.  The papers are from the Colleen Dolly Mixtures pad - not a duff paper in the whole pack. Love them all. I've also been encouraged by some blog posts to get out the liquid pearls and stickles for accenting again. Love them!

Hope this card has brought a little bit of spring cheer to your computer.

Helen x

Saturday, 27 April 2013


I've just won a bunting kit on the Craftwork Cards blog

Yippee! Can't wait to play so look out for the finished article soon... I'm thinking of something for my craftroom so I get to keep it but we'll see. Whatever I think it is going to be unashamedly girly - flowers and ribbons and a bit of sparkle. and probably in pink and green :-).

Helen x

P.S. There is still opportunity to win today's bunting kit if you head over to their blog and leave a comment :-)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Delightful Daisies

So the name of blog kind of gives it away, but I kind of love daisies!  My favourite little flower especially the little tiny, find them in the middle of your lawn type.  Anyway, these daisies are probably never going to be found in your garden.  But they are crazy and colourful and cheerful which I love.  From Craftwork Cards of course.
 I used an 8x8 scalloped blank, and tried to make the daisies stand out which you can see from the side view. And again totally loving the buttons. So perfect for the flower centres.

So the daisies and dandelions in my lawn still need sorting but can't bear mowing them down. Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

I'll be back soon.

Helen x

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Boy oh boy

Why is it so hard to make cards for men?  For me I really want to make something that is special, and is appreciated, but sometimes they just miss a bit of the zing you can put into girl cards.  I've always been a bit of a sucker for pink and frills (just ask my family about the pink dress!).  So most of the male cards I've made or you see in the shops just seem a bit bland.  But then along came kraft, buttons and bakers twine, and for some reason I'm liking the boy cards again.  So here's one I made earlier:

This uses two pieces of 6x6 Kraft card, cropodile-punched down the edge and threaded with twine. The trees are Clarity Stamps, which I just love.  I actually stamped this ages ago but was never inspired enough to know how to showcase it until now.

Pretty aren't they, in a very masculine sort of way of course!  I tried putting a sentiment on it but couldn't get it in the right place and in the end decided it looked better without for a change. Well once finished it needed the male focus group to approve or not. Thankfully Thomas decided to show his approval :-)

Hope you like it. You never know there may be more boy cards appearing here in the future now.

Helen x

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Creme Egg Brownies

So this isn't all about cards :-).  I did say I loved to bake but sadly ill health has meant that not a lot of that has happened recently. But a friend's birthday spurred me on to try a recipe I'd been itching to try!  Take a look at this:

Totally over the top, calorie-busting, chocolately yumminess.  Dark and white chocolate brownies with half creme eggs pushed in to the top.  It was ridiculously sweet but delicious. Silence fell in the room as each spoonful was savoured which I took to be an extremely good sign.

If anyone fancies having a go, send me a message or leave me a comment and I'll email you the recipe (which as usual I've adapted!).

Enjoy, even if it is just a feast for the eyes and not for the tum.

Helen x

Monday, 15 April 2013

Well Hello Dolly

As regular readers of my blog, and crafty friends will know, I kind of love all things that come from the Craftwork Cards company :-). I won a privilege club membership a while ago and the goodies were so good as a member that I kept it up.  I've really enjoyed the member kits and the challenge to try new things. Nearly every card I made includes a craftwork cards card blank, as well other key embellishments or Card Candi. One of the latest ranges to come out is a lovely collection called Dolly Mixtures.  I knew I had to get some of the dollies and papers as soon as I saw them and you can find them here. Not all my friends would appreciate some of the cuter images that are around in craftworld at the moment, but I still love my colouring in with alcohol markers, so these more grown-up images hit the mark. 

I've made 3 cards to showcase each of the Dollies.  I hope you like them as much as I do!


Here's the first of the dollies:

Amy has been matched with the Coleen papers, which includes lots of pretty pinks and greens (of course my favourites!).  The stepper card blank is also CWC, as are the flowers and sentiments etc.  Here are a couple of close ups:


I just love this Dolly with the little scottie dog in her bag.

Again another stepper card using the Coleen papers, along with some snazzy spotty washi tape from Paperchase. Again a close up of the side view and you can see my favourite paper of the bunch on the back step - lots of funky little scottie dogs:

This card has already gone off to my friend Karen who is having a rough patch at the moment. Hoping and praying the appointment to sort out her medication goes well this week!


Last but not least is Cheryl in all her elegance!  I love the big flower in her hair.

Not as big as the ones Kirsty Wiseman has been making but I think Cheryl's been following her blog ;-)

For this card I use and elegant square card blank to form the easel card, and jazzed up the heart with a bit of glossy accents and stickles. I gave her auburn hair to match the colours coming through in the papers.  I'd love hair like that!

And here's a quick look at the inside:

So there are my 3 lovely ladies. Hope you've enjoyed seeing them.  Back soon with a boy card :-).

Helen x

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Mother's Day Card

I know this is a bit late but here's a photo of my Mother's Day Card. 

It is a triple easel made with a Hunkydory set (on a Centura pearl base) as you can see from this picture:

The main panel is held back with a Craftwork cards sentiment and a lovely sparkly butterfly. Added a few sparkly gems to bling it up :-)

I've heard it has had quite a few compliments so that is nice!

Short and sweet post tonight.  I'll do a longer one next time.

Helen x

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Birdcages, bows and roses

I love the trend of vintage birdcages (even though caged birds make me sad) so when craftwork cards brought out some pretty little birdcage diecuts I had to indulge...  And this is what I came up with when the creative juices were in full swing:

I think this is one of the prettiest little cards I've made (not even going to try to be humble as I love it!).  I inked the birdcage with a flexmarker, shaped it so it was domed, and added some gorgeous little paper flowers, some punched leaves, and of course the obligatory ribbon. You can see how it is domed a bit better here:

This time the ribbon is seam binding that had been dyed subtle greens and pinks with distress inks.  I'm loving adding buttons at the moment, and if you are short on supplies HobbyCraft do a massive bag of odd buttons in their value range. The top patterned paper is Laura Ashley and the base hunkydory.

There is a bit of gorgeous washi tape behind the cage that you can just about see peeking through.

This was another card that was reluctantly given away but I know my friend would love it as she really appreciates all things pretty and handcrafted.  I need to get making some male cards as there has been an overabundance of twee on this blog for some time :-).  Hope you don't mind.

Helen x

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

More Everyday Cards

My crafting bug has been running on overdrive recently.  Like the previous post I've been trying to use up some prepared toppers.  Here are a few of the cards I have scrambled together. Always useful for the emergency box when I forget a birthday or need a 'thinking of you' kind of card!

Notice any recurring themes?  Green and pink perhaps, and always a bit nature inspired? At least it looks like I'm developing a signature style! Like Karen's blog is called Stamping in Pink maybe I should have been 'nature crafting with green and pink' - not that catchy though... Keep on the lookout for some crochet creations that might be appearing here soon as well. Yes there is another new craft creeping into my obsessions :-)

Let me know which card you like best if you have a moment. Love the comments!

Helen x