Wednesday, 31 December 2008

A quick Thank You card

... from one crafter to another.

I had been quite flattered to receive a lovely surprise Christmas card from someone whose work I admire and who has become a bit of a crafting celebrity if I may say so.

To return my thanks, I wanted to make a cheerful, contemporary New Year card, which I then actually sent off - that was the hardest part!

I usually keep my cards at least for a year, I just like to be able to look at them every now and then. I know that's not quite in the spirit of things... so one of my New Year's resolutions is to try and become less selfish in that respect!

Friday, 12 December 2008

Finding you blog candy

.. is what have done in my last post, but here is some lovely blog candy you can win on the Kamadesign website which deserves a post of its own. Katarina is celebrating her 10 year anniversary with her fiancée and the more people that join the bigger the candy will be. If you don't have a blog you can join, too.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Trying hard to make a hat

I have been dabbling in the art of hat making recently, unfortunately I'm not quite happy with the result yet, so instead, I will share a piece of information entirely different. I thought you might like to win a few crafty goodies o the internet? Who wouldn't! So here are a few links. Fist of all, there's the Whiff of Joy advent calendar. If you have a blog of your own, you can post a link to it and you might win a prize (probably a lovely stamp for cardmaking and scrapbooking).

You could do the same for a chance to win Jo's fabulous blog candy and Maria's which is just as nice, if you are quick. Beatrix's Christmas candy ends on the 13th of Dec. There's still loads of time to win Paula's and Natalija's blog candies, and almost until Christmas for Rica's. If you understand French, check out Mam'zelle M.'s blog (until the 19th), Petitfanouche (until 22th) and Lilyquenotte (until the 14th). Then there's Pink Gem Designs' Mimi candy (until 13th), Kim's blog candy until the 17th and also Irina's and Julie's until the 15th, just as Rosette's. Dawny P.'s candy is up for grabs until the 20th. Vanja's candy is offered until the 18th. You have until New Year's Eve for an unusual Daisyquilts giveaway.

Or check out Claire's blog, she is celebrating her bloghits with a generous giveaway, too. Then there's Buffy, she has posted some nice Christmas candy. And Sally is giving out blog candy every week in December.

I think I should do something similar on my blog - it might get me a few readers...

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Shopping for buttons

Ouch, my neck is hurting from bending down to choose between all those lovely buttons - spoilt for choice... but didn't I just love it! It's amazing what button designers can think up and manufacture nowadays. Many of them come in different sizes which is great for card making.

Well, they better be beautiful, considering that they don't come cheap - I seem to have an expensive taste even in buttons... Look at some of the little beauties I bought. They are going to be a birthday present from my partner's mum (I asked for some craft material that is still missing in my collection of cardmaking goodies), which means after uploading this photo, they will have to be packed away until next week. Bohooo...

If any of you happens to fall in love with them on first sight like I did: I'm offering to try and get some for you if they are still available. Just leave me a comment on this post. A good excuse for me to go back to the shop, hopefully without spending lots of my own money, too! And I can safely make this offer as I don't think there are too many people out there are actually following my blog on a regular basis...

Monday, 24 November 2008

It's snowing...

... outside as well as on my cards!

On this one, I used the resist ink stamping technique to achieve the effect that some snowflakes are disappearing into the background - like when you watch it snowing outside your window. I found this gives a certain depth to the background.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Another way to present a card

... on a photo - this is something I wanted to improve for a while now, noticing that although frontal shots probably provide a maximum of information, they can be boring to look at, especially if many pictures are taken from the same perspective.

So today I chose an angle from the side rather than showing the front of the card. I knew that this can be a great way to show off threedimensional embellishments - that was the plan!

However I was surprised to find that I can also use this perspective to let a viewer enjoy the curvy lines spreading out in front of their eyes, rather than just taking in the layout at one glance. It is a more emotional way to present a card.

The best thing is that the effect of the close up, odd angle perspective even works on people who know about the psychology behind it - just like advertising!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Card display box

Thinking about the time and money I spend on my card making hobby - I don't regret any of it as I love the "instant" gratification a finished card brings me.

However it's a fact, and I would feel better about it if I could at least make this hobby pay for itself. So I have racked my brains and come up with a scheme: If I can find people who want to sell my cards, a good percentage of the proceeds would go to a charity organisation of their choice, and the remainder towards new card making tools and material. (The "if" is a BIG "if" though!)

I need to make a few investments upfront, such as A5 cellophane bags - the used ones on the photo don't all fit the cards. This is the display box I made:

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Lots of planting

... as I have the pleasant and very enjoyable task of designing our new garden. I love this stage in the process when a garden is just beginning to get "a face".

My new plants are special for two reasons:

a) my dear parents went to a lot of trouble digging them up from their garden, writing instructions, labelling and packing them in wet newspaper and plastic bags so that they would be able to survive a three day car journey. One of them, a 1.5 m high Lilac, even travelled on the roofrack - until the car broke down 350 miles from home!

Which leads me to the second reason why these plants are dear to me: You can probably imagine the adventure we had, travelling with them in Taxis and on the train. The bags were more than we could carry, and of course we had to change trains (at a station which had been closed until 5 minutes before we arrived, due to an abandoned suitcase). Unfortunately quite a few train stations have recently abandoned the idea of luggage trolleys, so I had to enlist the help of fellow passengers.

But everyone and everything survived the trip, so finally, here is the list of the far travelled species:

The aforementioned Lilac (Flieder)
Irises (Schwertlilien)
Aquilegia (or Columbine?; Akelei)
Lilies of the Valley (Maigloeckchen)
Lysimachia clethroides (Gooseneck Loosestrife; Entenschnabel-Felberich)
Sage (Salbei)
Streifengras (I would like to know the English or even the botanical name...)
Physostegia Virginiana (Gelenkblume)
Achillea Millefolium (Schafgarbe)
Saxifraga Arendsii (Moosteinbrech)
A mysterious shrub (Bodendecker)
Campanula (Glockenblume)
Archimenes (Schiefteller)

I might post a picture when all is planted...

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Vegetable garden painting

Due to a house move, my vegetable plot now consists of a few strawberry plants, 5 miniature onions, and NO potatoes at all - sniff... Not to mention 5 tiny tomato plants. Not sure why I took those with me in the first place - purely for sentimental reasons, obviously, as they are not going to bear fruit this late in the year. A bit sad for a vegetable plot, but there's always next year...

I thought it would be nice to be around some normal sized plants for a change, so I spent a few pleasant hours on this sunny and warm autumn day sitting in someone else's allotment and painting their vegetable plants - the ones that had survived the harvest.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Cable flower ATC

... for Sian's hole themed swap on the DoCrafts website. Actually I made this ATC already yesterday, but it's either that or talking about the lovely stew I made today - it was tasty but just doesn't make a good headline ... so this is my excuse for changing the subject.

Unfortunately I didn't get much chance to show this ATC around as it had to be posted to arrive on time, so I just HAVE to sneak it into this blog to share it with you. It was so new I barely got a chance to say good bye before it went...

Do you know this effect when you take part in a hosted swap: You decide to make let's say two ATCs, start in good time and then end up almost being late by making another and yet another one - all because you are too chuffed with them to let them go just yet. This happens to me every time. I do find it quite hard to part from them for the first few weeks at least. Then I gradually notice their shortcomings, which makes it a bit easier... Should I feel guilty about that?

I know for some people it's just the other way round: they hate to send off anything that isn't perfect at least in their own eyes.

I bet you are as surprised as I am to find that there can be a moral side to our crafting hobby - if that's how you decide to look at it. I wonder what type of crafter you might be? If I ever find out how to include one of those mini surveys in my blog, I shall ask you about that...

Friday, 27 June 2008

A vegetable flower bed

...for a dozen potatoes. Gardening in the rain - not quite my kind of thing normally, as it compresses the soil AND lets the mud stick to my shoes - yes, it's the clay type of soil we have here.

Glad I did it though as it got me one step nearer to my gardening goal for the back of the house. This year I want to create a vegetable bed going all around the lawn. I'm not too proud to say that today I achieved another 40 cm towards that goal. At that speed, I'm not sure I'll be finished by Christmas ...

My excuse is that I do this job REALLY WELL which includes digging out stones in all sizes, BIG chunks of clay, crumbling the soil, AND getting rid of a week's worth of kitchen scraps at once - a treat for those busy earthworms who will transform this ancient sea bed into nice dark rich crumbly fertile garden soil...

This method is called trench composting and I have to say it's just right for me. Why? Because I certainly DON'T have the patience to wait for half a year in order for those few stray earthworms that happen to find their way into my compost bin to do this sisyphos work...