Sunday, June 27, 2010

Happy Birthday!

As often happens when I try to combine challenges, I go off on a bit of a tangent. The following card is my attempt to follow this week's Clean&Simple sketch and make something for CAS-tastic Wednesday (Yellow, blue and a neutral).

Here's the sketch:

But as you can see, it doesn't follow the sketch as much as it should:

Happy Birthday!

I insisted on using this patterned paper (from Chatterbox) as it's yellow and blue. I just didn't think about how much I would need to layer with and trimmed to my little heart's content until I was left with a little pile of scraps... oops! So I salvaged as best I could and it works, which is the main thing!

Size of card: 6"x4" top folding

Card/paper - Quill white cardstock, Chatterbox "Vacation Floral", Cream cardstock
Stamp - My Sentiments Exactly "Birthday Sentiments"
Ink - Versacolor "Atlantic"
Extra - Hero Arts "Sparkle" embossing powder
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Osmer glue tape, foam tape

Challenge: CWC009 / FTL#96

Thanks for looking :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Handmade envelope tutorial

As you may have already noticed (if you've read any of the entries in my blog) I use 4" square cards more than any other size or shape. They're clearly my favourite, but the snag is that I can't buy envelopes for them (it's not that I can't find them, but they aren't cheap...) so I make my own. This is my preference most of the time anyway as I am a bit of a match-aholic and having a matching card and envelope just makes me so, so happy. I know, I need to get out more!

I bought the Crafter's Companion Enveloper Pro from the Fox Collection and it is a fantastic tool for making just about any size envelope that you can think of. There was a trial and error stage which I think just about everyone goes through with a new tool so I am going to share my methods for making it work for me.

As per the instructions, you need to have a square piece of paper. There are some popular sizes on the instruction sheet - and 4" square is listed among them. The silly thing about the Australian (metric) version is that it lists the paper size in cm but then the card size in inches. Well which is it?? Because my Fiskars paper trimmer is in inches I have to convert everything anyway, so I worked out that I need to cut the paper I am using to make this envelope to 6 11/16 (17cm) square.

Handmade Envelope Tutorial - 1

Tip - when using the Enveloper Pro to score (for this card I need to score at "B" each side) I find it is better to go from right to left. This stops the paper from buckling which can cause the scoring to be uneven which then skews the finished envelope. This presented me with a quandry though, as I couldn't see where to score. The problem was solved when I used a Sharpie to indicate the right spot (as shown in photo above right).

When folding the scored lines to make the envelope I find with heavier papers (100gsm and above) it's easy, but with lighter papers (90gsm and below) the folds aren't as defined so they can easily become skewed. I came up with a simple solution - a guide which fits the inside square/rectangle of the envelope made of strong card. I used 290gsm for mine. I then place it in the middle of the paper within the scored lines and fold, using the guide to make the folds straight.

Handmade Envelope Tutorial - 2

I fold the whole envelope with the guide inside and then slide it out. I adhere the bottom flap and it's ready to go!

Handmade Envelope Tutorial - 3

I also read somewhere online that a better tool to use is a metal stylus for scoring. I haven't tried this yet but I will - the purple bone folder/scorer that came with the board seems to be wearing away from overuse!

I hope this tutorial is helpful to someone out there. Please don't hesitate to leave a comment or email me if you have any comments or questions, I'd love to hear them!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Birthday

I didn't enter Cardpatterns challenge last week - I just didn't feel inspired by the sketch, and as I have found, that isn't a bad thing or a failure on my part. I find that 'forcing' myself to follow a sketch just does not work. It leaves me with a crappy-looking card and a mood to match. So I made a deal with myself that I will only follow a sketch if it inspires me, and if I can make a usable card out of it.

Not having to make a card last Friday night gave me the most wonderful feeling of freedom, and also gave me the chance to catch up with a few other bits and pieces I've been working on. Both good things!

But this week's sketch DID inspire me, so here we are.

Here's the sketch:

And here's my card:

Happy Birthday

I took the plunge and bought a Sizzix Big Shot. I got a really good deal at Lincraft's stocktake sale a few weeks back (which, as per the website, is still on) and I've been buying up dies left right and center. I'm having so much fun with it!
This is the first card I've made with my Nestabilities (Big Scallop Circle LG).

I found a great blog - Indigo Inklings which has very useful articles and advice for using the Big Shot. The author has kindly put together a PDF document with a really easy to follow chart about using the Multi-Purpose Platform (MPP) which I have printed out and stuck on the noticeboard beside my crafting table for quick reference. The chart can be accessed via this page.

Size of card: 4" square

Card/paper - Bazzil textured cardstock "Vanilla", Inque Boutique "Isn't it Romantic" collection
Stamp - Kaisercraft
Ink - Versacolor "Misty Mauve"
Extra - Hero Arts "Sparkle" embossing powder
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Osmer glue tape, Martha Stewart Circle Cutter, Big Shot, Spellbinders Nestabilities "Big Scallop Circle LG"

Challenge: Cardpatterns Sketch #69

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thinking of you

This card is my entry in to this week's One Layer Wednesday challenge by Simplicity.

This week's challenge is to use a flourish in some way. I have a couple of flourish stamps but they didn't speak to me at all (don't you hate that?!) until I just decided to lay down some ink on one and see where it took me. This card is the result:

Thinking of You

I didn't like it when I first stamped it - I actually threw it into the scrap pile, but I had a change of heart and decided to round the corners to see if that made an improvement and it did! I am not one for rounding corners of cards (but I love the look!) so this is a bit different for me.

Oh and I also added a bit of bling to the centers of the flowers with my clear Spica pen.

Size of card: 4" square

Card/paper - Quill white cardstock
Stamp - Scroll Frames by Hero Arts (CL283)
Ink - Versafine "Black Onyx", Versacolor "Boysenberry"
Extra - Spica Pen (clear)
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer,

Challenge: OLW#9

Thanks for looking, and I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!


It isn't Father's Day down here in Australia (ours is in September) but the CAS-tastic Wednesday challenge asked for a Father's Day card, so I delivered. Hey, at least I'll have one ready for him in September - not at the last minute as is normally my style...

And this card isn't actually my normal style. It's kind of busy, and layery. I think I was channeling a bit of Kristina Werner today.


I broke out the Mod Podge and chipboard alphas (Kaisercraft) for this card. I don't have any precision files but my bead reamers (from my past life as a jewellery designer) did the job just as well in those tight corners, especially the inside of the "A".

It was originally a top folding 6"x4" card but I didn't like how smushed everything was down the bottom so I cut off the offending cardstock and adhered it down to a 4" square card. Everyone who reads this blog must know by now that I have an ongoing love affair with 4" square cards!
Does anyone else out there think they're the best size? The only problem with them though is finding envelopes - hence why I always make my own.

Size of card: 4" square (as mentioned above!)

Card/paper - Bazzil textured cardstock, Lexel "Ferrum" paper, Kaisercraft "Refuge" from Hideaway set patterned paper
Extra - Kaisercraft chipboard alphas
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Helmar glue tape, Mod Podge, Bead reamers and sanding block

Challenge: CWC008 - Father's Day and CPS#172

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I was asked by a friend to make a card for her friend who had gotten married and then quickly after had a baby, so the card had to combine the two.

Well I was a bit stumped and spent basically all of this past weekend thinking about it. I was online looking at digital stamps for more hours than I care to admit, but I eventually came up with the following card which was inspired by this week's Card Positioning Systems sketch:


I printed the cake twice - once on the "Pink" paper, and once on the "Natural" paper. I left off the cake stand and swirls for the top layer as I knew that there was no way I could cut those out neatly and positioned it on the pink layer that I had already punched out. The onesie was very easy to cut out so I didn't bother with printing it twice, I just adhered it straight onto the pink layer.

Size of card: A5 folded in half

Card/paper - Quill white cardstock, Canson Vivaldi textured paper in "Natural" and "Pink"
Stamp - Squiggle Stamps "Wedding Cake", Onesie in Tainted Sweets "Baby Stamps" set
Extra - Wendy Irving Expressions rubon, Copic Ciao marker in "Pale Pink"
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Helmar glue tape, bone folder (for rubon), Carl circle punch, Cre8tive spring scissors

Challenge: CPS171

Thanks for looking!

Happy Birthday

This card started off so different from what it ended up being! It was always meant to follow the CAS-tastic challenge for this week by using a button - but I was originally going to have a strip of ribbon going across the card with the buttons on top of it. I bought some embroidery floss to match the inside button and then things... evolved.

Happy Birthday

These were actually found buttons in my stash of the ones that come with a new item of clothing. I'm sure everyone has a pile of these... and maybe I'm alone here, but I've never needed to use one - ever. Maybe I'm lucky, or maybe less rough with my clothes, who knows :)

I used double sided sticky tape to adhere the floss to the back of the button, and then just looped it several times to make it look like a flower. I adhered the twirly bits of the tail ends with a glue stick to make them sit more or less flat, and tucked them under the top layer and added a bit of double sided tape to make them stay put.

I also combined two ink colours to make the sentiment pinky-red by inking up my stamp once with "Scarlet" and again with "Raspberry" and then putting it to the paper.

I used my Carl corner rounder (I believe it's the medium one) to make the edges on the sentiment. It was a bit of trial and error though - I must figure out a more efficient way of doing it. When I do you'll be the first to know!

Size of card: 4" square

Card/paper - Lexel "Sandstone" card and paper, Quill paper
Stamp - Hero Arts "Classic Messages"
Ink - Versacolor "Scarlet" and "Raspberry"
Extras - Found buttons, Sullivans embroidery floss
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Scotch double-sided tape, Bostik glue stick, Carl corner rounder

Challenge: CWC007

Thanks for visiting!

Beautiful Blogger Award

I was so surprised to get this award - especially considering the talent of the person who gave it to me - Shelley Starkis. Part of receiving the award is to tell you ten things about myself:

1. I turned 30 this year (yikes!)

2. I met my husband of 2 years when we both worked at the University of Queensland library. Both of us still work at UQ, but in different schools.

3. I have a Diploma of Library and Information Studies.

4. Both my husband and I never want children - our cats are our babies ;)

5. I LOVE stationery. Officeworks is my favourite shop in the whole wide world.

6. I'm a huge Beatles fan.

7. I hate cooking - my husband is the chef of our household.

8. I've always been a night owl and I love sleeping in on the weekends.

9. My husband and I are both into photography, especially of nature and wildlife.

10. I'm a keen gardener.

The final part is to choose ten inspirational people to pass the award on to. My ten are as follows:

Angie Kennedy Juda

Karen Baker

Kristina Werner

Lindsay Amrhein

Angeline Yong

Vicky Papaioannou

Chris Simon

Anya Schoss Schrier

Joan Bardee

Maile Belles

I hope they inspire you as much as they have inspired me!

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Birthday

Today's card is my entry into Simplicity's One Layer Wednesday challenge for this week. The challenge is always to use one layer of cardstock folded in half but this week the stipulation was to mask a background. I decided to try sponging for this since I've never done it before and I always like to try things once!

Here's my card:

Happy Birthday

The butterfly stamp is from an Inkadinkado set I bought recently. There's some cute little birdie stamps in the set too which I need to try and use sometime soon.

I also took a few photos and made up a short tutorial of how I made the masking for this card in the hopes that my trial and error can save others some hassles!

More Masking - Tutorial

Choose a piece of card stock that can be cut to fit the width of your selected cardfront. Begin by punching two squares/shapes next to each other at a respectable distance. I made mine 3/16" apart.

I wanted to make a 4" square card so I cut the width of the masking template to 4" across after using my centering ruler (where would I be without it?!) to work out the exact middle between the two squares.
The farthest this punch can punch into is 1/2" so I cut the length to 3 3/8" which meant I didn't have to worry about lining up the top sides of the squares, just the sides.

I then drew lines going down the left sides of both punched squares to the bottom of the template to indicate where the left edges of the punch should sit when punching my remaining two squares.

All of this measuring allowed me to just slide the punch straight up as far as it would go into the paper and use the pencil line guides to make the squares evenly spaced. Here's the finished mask:

More masking tutorial - Step 1
(click on the image to see it closer)

Then it was simply a matter of applying some removable adhesive and choosing a colour to sponge on! Here's the sponging finished:

More masking tutorial - Step 2
(click on the image to see it closer)

I lined up the masking template with the sides but eyeballed the top and bottom (I wanted it up slightly higher than the middle to make room for the sentiment).

To mask the stamp I wanted to use within the sponged squares I used the sponging template to trace around each square on a post-it to guide where to punch. I used a little bit of extra removable adhesive to make sure that it didn't move around at all when using it as a mask, and then stamped the design.

I added the sentiment and that was it! I hope this tutorial is helpful to someone out there. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Size of card: 4" square

Card/paper - Quill white cardstock (+ a scrap piece for the mask template), post-it
Stamp - Inkadinkado "Flourishes", Hero Arts "Classic Messages"
Ink - Versacolor "Petal Pink", Versafine "Onyx Black"
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Sullivans 1" square punch, UHU poster tack, makeup sponge

Challenge: OLW8

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I'm getting in really late on all my regular challenges lately, I don't know what's up with that! Maybe I'm a thrill-seeker at heart ;)

The card in this post is for this week's Cardpatterns sketch:

Here's my very loose interpretation:

(Click on the image to see it closer)

Size of card: C6 (A5 folded in half)

Card/paper - Quill white cardstock, Canson textured paper (light pink), Chatterbox patterned paper
Stamp - Stampendous clear stamps "Flower Chat"
Ink - Versacolor "Pinecone"
Extras - Christina Re satin ribbon "Satin Shimmering Pearl"
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Helmar tape runner

Challenge: CP67

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I don't normally post that often during the week, but I think being sick on Tuesday helped - I got to sit in my craft room and create for longer than usual!

I made the card in this post on Tuesday but haven't been able to photograph it until now (my desk/photographing area was a bit of a mess).

It follows this week's Clean and Simple Stamping Fall-to Layout:

And here's my card:

(click on the image to see a closer view)

I tried something I've never done before on this card - stamping on ribbon. I'm not sure how well it turned out but you can still see it quite well over 24 hours later, so I'd say it won't bleed too much more (it was alot more crisp-looking right after I stamped it). I had a few issues with the brads sitting properly as well - hence why it looks a bit bumpy at the bottom (it looks less bumpy in person though - not sure what happened there!)

Size of card: A5 folded in half

Card/paper - Quill white cardstock, Grant Archival plain paper, Cre8tive patterned paper
Stamp - Inkadinkado "Chelsea Sentiments"
Ink - Versacolor "Atlantic"
Extras - gold brads, Kaisercraft ribbon from "Earth Tones" pack
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Renoir tape runner

Challenge: FTL93

Thanks for looking!

You're so special

Hello again! Another challenge card from me (I rarely do anything else - they really get my creative juices flowing!)

Today's card is based on this week's Card Positioning Systems sketch below:

And here's what I made:

You're so special
(click on the image to see it closer up)

I always wanted this to be a masculine(ish) card, and knew I wanted to make it blue, but I tried about a dozen complicated variations with layers, stamped backgrounds and whatnot until I decided to just K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid)! I'm sure Susan would be proud of me ;)

I used a bit of scissor-distressing on the edges of the sentiment layer to man it up a bit. The scallop does turn the manliness down a notch or two, don't you think?

Size of card: 4"x6" (postcard-style)

Card/paper - Quill white cardstock, Grant Archival plain paper, Studio B "Boy o Boy" paper pad
Stamp - Hero Arts "Truly Appreciated" (CL380)
Ink - Versacolor "Atlantic"
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Scissors, Renoir tape runner,

Challenge: CPS170

Thanks for looking!

I'd also like to thank everyone for all the lovely comments that they have been leaving on my blog and on my flickr photostream - reading them is the high point of my day :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The road to a friend's house is never long

Isn't that a darling sentiment? I've used it in the card in this post as it is one of the elements of a page in the "Peachy Keen" paper pad from Kaisercraft.

I made it for Embellish Magazine's Color Challenge with Labels:

And here's the card I made:

The road to a friend's house is never long
(click on the image to see it closer up)

I used the printable "Peachy Keen" PDF available at for the main flower, and then combined elements from several pages of the pad to make up the rest of the card. The label is from one of the diecut shapes at the back of the pad, but because it had blue in the center it wasn't going to work with this colour scheme so I used my Martha Stewart Circle Cutter to cover it up.

As I used a colour toner printer to print the flower it needed a bit of TLC once I'd finished cutting it out. I find this is the case when cutting out any laser/toner printed elements so I used a dark brown marvy marker to go over the bits that were showing white as well as the edges and you can't tell the difference even in real life.

Size of card: A5 folded in half

Card/paper - Cream cardstock, "Peachy Keen" paper collection by Kaisercraft, Copy paper
Ink - Toner
Extras - foam tape
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Renoir tape runner, Martha Stewart circle cutter, Cre8tive spring scissors

Challenge: Embellish Magazine Color Challenge with Labels

Just saying hello

It doesn't happen often, but this time I've managed to pretty much follow a sketch exactly (except for the scalloped bit, but it's not my fault I don't have a die cutting machine - yet!)

Here's Clean and Simple Stamping's sketch for last week:

And here's my very clean and simple card:

Just saying hello
(click on the image to see it close-up)

I'm just not a big fan of wasting ribbon, or having it showing on the other side when the card is opened, so the white layer is my compromise. I cut the ribbon so that it was about 1cm longer than either end and then taped it down to the back side of the layer nice and secure with my tape runner.

In order to get the sentiment centered (and straight!) I used my faithful centering ruler to work out the center and drew a line going an inch either way giving me 2 points of reference for where my sentiment should sit (side-to-side and in the middle). I stamped the sentiment on the line and erased it after.

Size of card: 4" square

Card/paper - Quill white cardstock, "Devonshire" paper collection by Kaisercraft
Stamps - Hero Arts "Classic Messages" (CL414)
Ink - Versacolor "Pinecone"
Extras - ribbon
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Renoir tape runner, Martha Stewart circle cutter

Challenge: FTL#92

Sending you lots of hugs

I'm getting in pretty late to the Simplicity One Layer Wednesday challenge this week. I found this one hard, not because I couldn't think of anything to repeat, but because I was so spoilt for choice! I have dozens and dozens of wee stamps I can use repetitively, so it was hard to just go with one for this card.

In the end I used one of the little leafy things in one of my new Hero Arts sets - Truly Appreciated.

Sending you lots of hugs

I used my simple masking trick to create the two strips above and below the sentiment and coloured them with Prismacolor pencils. I stamped the sentiment before colouring the leaves as I didn't want to spend ages colouring something that would end up in the scrap heap due to a crooked sentiment.

I was trolling through some of the blogs I subscribe to when I chanced upon CAStastic challenges. The challenge this week is to use the sentiment as the main focus of the card. It was fate!

Size of card: 4" square

Card/paper - Quill white cardstock, scrap paper (for masking)
Stamps - Hero Arts "Truly Appreciated" (CL380)
Ink - Versafine "Black Onyx"
Extras - Prismacolor pencils in "Limepeel", "Apple Green" and "Pink"
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Marbig poster tack (repositionable)

Challenges: OLW#7 and CWC006

Thanks for looking!

Edited to add: This card got into the top 5 for this week's CAS-tastic challenge!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


The card in today's post follows this week's sketch for Card Positioning Systems below:

And here's my take:


The lollies coming out of the bag idea was actually suggested by my husband when I was umming and ahhing over what to do with the lollies for this card. I shelved the idea until I saw the above sketch which made me instantly think of lollies coming out of a bag!

The sentiment is by Hero Arts. It really says "enjoy the little things" but I just inked up the "enjoy" as it was too wide.

Size of card: 4" x 6" (top folding)

Card/paper - Quill white cardstock, Canson "Cream", sketchpad, kraft wrapping paper
Stamps - Digital Candy Freebie by Mujka Chic from My Grafico, Hero Arts "Blossoms", Hero Arts "Background Stripes" cling
Ink - Printer, Versamagic "Cloud White", Copic Ciao marker in Pale Lilac (V12), Bic Mark-its in "Polynesian Purple", "Pink Flamingo", "Tranquil Teal", "Sunset Orange", "Margarita Green" and "Lemon Bliss"
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Cre8tive spring scissors, decorative edge scissors, Renoir glue runner

Challenge: CPS#169

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Embellished with butterflies

Colour challenges are hard! They're especially hard when you have to incorporate a shape. This is Embellish Magazine's colour challenge, with butterflies:

And here's what I made:

Embellished with butterflies
(click on the image to see it closer up

The butterfly is from Fred She Said (download here). I printed it three times, twice on recycled (kraft) paper, then a slightly bigger version on lime green paper. I cut up the middle section of the second kraft butterfly to adhere to the back, peeking out slightly so that its antennae and the bottom part of his body didn't disappear into the background.

And it almost killed me, but I didn't add a sentiment to this card. Mainly because I don't have any ink on hand that would match the colour combination, much less something that stamps well on dark cardstock. So sentiment-less it is!

Size of card: 4.5" square

Card/paper - Black cardstock, Cre8tive textured black paper, Grant Archival lime green paper, Kraft paper
Stamps - Monarch Butterfly by Fred She Said
Ink - Printer
Tools - Fiskars paper trimmer, Cre8tive spring scissors, Renoir tape runner,

Challenge: Embellish Magazine's Colour Challenge with Butterflies

Thanks for looking!