Hi there, welcome to my website which is my way of sharing my crafting journey with the world. I have been a creative person for virtually all of my life, and, like many, have had a go a pretty much every form of creative craft at one time or another. Nowadays I am predominantly a paper crafter making bespoke cards for friends and family and their friends. My passion is die cutting. I am lucky to have a number of different die cutting machines and thousands of dies. I also, when the mood takes me, like to write the odd verse or two. I also share pictures of my makes on Pinterest and on my Facebook page, both of which you will find by clicking on the links.
Although I do take commissions, this site is not set up for selling and I don’t take commissions from overseas. I don’t keep a stock of pre-made cards, every one is hand-made to order. If you did want to commission a card please contact me via email.
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Special birthdays demand a special card to mark the occasion. Here are 2 cards I made recently for friends who’s partners were celebrating their landmark birthdays. Both are themed to interests/likes of the recipients, one of whom was going on a carribean cruise and holiday in Barbados to celebrate and the other just loves animal print, hence the designs chosen. For more examples of cards for landmark birthdays, just click on these his & hers links. For details of dies and materials used, just click on the actual photos.
Quite a few of our friends are turninig 60 this year so I’ve been busy making cards. Here are two larger cards, made 3 months apart but sharing a similar colour scheme. I also used my new favourite type of sentiment dies. In the case of these two, they are Cardmaking Magic Dies by Christina Griffiths (from Craftstash.co.uk). I love multi-cutting these to create a more dimensional finish. The first card is more sparkly and ‘blingy’ (I used Cosmic Shimmer Glitter Kiss over the embossed background) which suited the recepient to a tee. I used a shaped 8″ card blank and then echoed the shape with the matting and layering using similar shaped nesting dies. For Full sized pictures and details of dies and materials used, just click on the images.
The second card is a bit of a monster in terms of size, I used three 8″ square card blanks to create a double shutter card. The sentiments on the front are done in the same way as the first card but then heat embossed with clear embossing powder, I used some additonal ones too. The sentiments inside were stamped onto white card and the die cut. The centre inside sentiment is die cut using an old Tattered Lace die. The large numbers were also heat embossed. For more views of both cards take a look in the Gallery at the Ladies Extra Special section.
Here are two examples of cards I made utilising The ‘John Next Door’ Opera box die as a different take on an envelope. Obviously these aren’t suitable for posting but they make a really nice and different surprise when making cards for Special people. The one drawback, I quickly realised, is that you are limited to making quite a small card but I think they are quite cute. The inside of the box lid, once assembled, protrudes down inside the box and I used this as a guide when deciding what size to make the cards. The first example is a simple small card.
For the second example I made an accordion card and arranged the butterfly die cuts to fit around the protruding parts of the lid so it looks a little bigger. These are great projects for using up any double sided card stock you have as both sides will be seen. To see full sized pictures and details of dies etc used, just click on the images.
For the second year running, I’m proud to say, I managed to make all of my Christmas cards again. I send over 100 cards, so for most I need to come up with a simple design that’s easy to mass produce and isn’t too expensive to post. I used stamping for half of them and die cutting and embossing for the other half. I also made a couple of special ones for family and close friends. If you want to see full sized versions of any of the pictures just click on them.
For the stamped cards I used the ‘Be Creative Clearly Stamps Pebbles The Penguin Set, I stamped the layers with toning shades of Tim Holtz Distress Oxide Inks onto white card and added heat embossed holographic clear embossing powder to the last layer. I matted the stamped images onto Kraft card Mats die cut with stitched nesting square dies and inked with the same distress oxide inks.
For the Die cut and embossed cards I used some aperture card blanks that have been sitting in my stash for ages. I embossed A4 sheets of thin white card using an Embossalicious A4 embossing folder. I then inked the whole sheet with diistress ink and then went over with a toning shade of Cosmic Shimmer gilding polish. I die cut the sentiments with the Spellbinders – Christmas – D-Lites – Holiday Merry and Bright set and dry embossed, inked and gilded through the dies. To add a touch of highlight I added tiny snowflake die cut using the Tattered Lace Dies – Essentials Tuck In Christmas Snowflakes die.
And finally, some of my special cards ended up being Christmas plaques not cards. I was experimenting with the Crafters companion Gemini 5″ x 7″ 3D Embossing Folder – Merry Christmas and was so pleased with the results that I though it would be nice to make something that could be used every year rather than being discarded after Christmas. I mounted my finished matted and layered fronts onto pieces of mountboard which I inked through a Minc Woodgrain Art Screen (tough going as they’re not really meant for inking like a stencil). The embellishments were die cut using Spellbinders Shapeabilities Layered Poinsettia Dies S5-055, Spellbinders ribbon & bells die set and unknown brand pine needles dies, all embossed and inked with distress ink then embellished with Pebeo gilding wax.
We’ve been busy at home with some pretty major revamping, part of which I’m delighted to say, included re-fitting my craft room.
Like most crafters, my collection has evolved over the years, as has my storage. My long suffering hubby willingly put up shelves and modified an old wardrobe for me and I kept buying storage boxes etc. but it became difficult for me to work in the space that I had.
The most difficult part of the process for me, was finding places to put the mountain of supplies I had while we emptied the room and fitted the new ‘furniture’. My next problem was designing a layout that would give me the maximum amount of storage and, if possible, increase the area I had to work in.
We used basic kitchen units and work tops bought from B&Q, most of which I chose to leave without doors to allow for easy access while crafting. I chose to use deep wall units as base units (without legs) on two sides of the room which meant that I could craft at the worktops at desk height (crafting sitting down is a new experience for me now) and easily access supplied stored above and below. The work top is a continuous U shape which is great. The designated ‘desk’ area under the window hides 2 additional tables that I can pull out when I need more work surface, and a useful set of desk drawers.
The pictures below will give you a better idea of what I am talking about. I know it’s not as pristine & beautiful as the many examples you can see online but my room is quite small compared to most of them and it works for me. The large Cupboard unit with doors houses all of my Sewing, Jewellery making, Painting, Cross stitch, Glues, Christmas and other crafting supplies keeping them clean, dust free and easily accessible. I just love that I now have designated areas for stamping, inking and colouring, word processing and computer work and die-cutting with all the relevent supplies easily on hand. To see the pictures full sized just click on each one. I am one very lucky cookie and have the best Hubby ever.
I managed to get the Tattered Lace T-Bar slider card die set for a very good price on ebay, so thought I’d try it out. Then I realised why it was cheap. The instructions on the packaging are not very helpful so I searched on youtube for a video. The Tattered Lace video was even less help as the demonstrator cuts part of the card the wrong way round and it doesn’t work, interestingly the video stops short of revealing this fact. There are, however, some other more helpful videos on youtube from crafters who had similar difficulties. So I cut all the pieces from scrap card and managed to sort it and here’s my end result. An interesting card which is a bit different, I probably won’t be making loads of these but I made this card for my sister who is also an avid card maker like me and I always try to give her something more unusual. For details of the other dies I used just click on the pictures as usual.
I’ve made lots of these parcel keepsake cards for the arrival of new baby girls, baby boys and twins but they can also be a good way of marking a milestone birthday for someone special. This one was made in the recipients favourite colours and includes details of star sign, lucky charm (made from shrink plastic), birth stone etc plus; then and now photoraphs. For details of dies etc used just click on the individual pictures.
Make someone feel extra special on their birthday by giving them a ‘WOW’ factor handmade card. These are 2 examples of accordion cards made using Tattered lace accordion card dies, one for the ladies and one for the men. The great thing about these cards is that you can add as many sections as you want. I did find that I needed to double cut the base sections to give the cards more strength and substance. I cut off the connecting tabs on the sections glued to the back to make assembly easier. Another top tip, would be to assemble in 2 stages. I join the main sections together first and only join the internal sections after I have added the embellishments as it’s a lot easier to do with the card flat on your work surface. Once full assembled these cards will not lie flat so adding details can be tricky. For the ladies’ version I made a simple box for the card. For the men’s version I made a box envelope from a bought envelope using the method shown in Tutorial 8 (you will need to have subscribed to the newsletter to get the passwords to access this).
Buying some sets of dies demands a significant investment. When buying expensive die sets I like to play around to make sure I can get the most from them. I have a couple of panorama die sets and have found, by trial and error, that I can change the size to make larger cards. These are 2 examples of just that. The die set as it comes (the Tattered Lace Large Panorama set), makes an A5 card. I have managed to make 8″ x 8″ cards by cutting the inner panels in 2 stages. Stage 1 cutting the left side with tabs but stopping before the tabs on the right side. Then carefully measuring and re-placing the die to cut the right side. All pieces needed to be shortened in height, but it’s important to measure and trim exactly the same amount from the top and bottom of each piece accurately to ensure the tabs and slots line up properly. I used shop bought 8 x 8 card blanks to mount the panorama on so the cards would stand well and be more stable than just having a flat back. I used 300gsm card for all sections of the base cards and I reinforced the top and bottom edges of the front and inner panels with strips of card to stiffen them. These two cards were commissions and the design elements were appropriate for the recipients. The Man’s 50th birthday card was also made to look like the recipient, with specific details of clothing etc made to match his own. The Lady’s 30th card included the recipients favourite things using all sorts of dies and stamps from my stash chopped, snipped and coloured to replicate them. These cards are labours of love which took hours of experimenting, planning and preparation and are not suitable projects for beginners but were well worth the effort. For details of dies ect used, just click on the pictures.