Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Gathering and new magazine issue

A little post here, to say that the latest Creativity Cardmaking issue, issue 17, arrived today in our shop. It's got some lovely projects in it, complete with free Craftwork Cards papers and die-cut tags.
Also, our next gathering is this Saturday (26th), for all who would like to come along. It starts at 11am, ends at 3pm and is £3, includes tea, coffee and biscuits, and use of the tools in our airy upstairs classroom. Just bring along your latest project, be it scrapbooking, card-making, altered art, stamping, sewing, knitting...and sit and make and chat and sip tea :)

Ciao for now,

Craftybird x

Friday, 18 June 2010

Diecuts, papers and meadow flowers

I've decided to blog while England are playing, because nobody's scoring, or doing anything dramatic. On either side! I find it easier just supporting some of the other teams, because at least then there's no presenters or commentators going on about England being ready to win it, have to win this, win that. Aye aye aye :-S
Moving on, here are photos of the samples for the D is for Die-cuts class (on fri 2nd july or sat 10th july)...

It involves Bo Bunny Kitchen Spice papers (we love this range's summery burnt orange and sky blue). Instead of the main features being stamps or stickers/images, or sentiments, the focal-points are die-cuts. These are shapes, made using punches, corner punches, border punches, Quickutz, Cuttlebug and Spellbinders dies on a die-cutting machine.

It was a challenge, as we're addicted to stamping, and we had to focus more on shapes instead, but it was great! Every card takes on a different shape and layout.

Ooh, and these are small sneak peeks of just a few of the So Sophie papers, one of the latest ranges from My Mind's Eye. I think I need some of these, I'm trying to think if they've gone on my birthday wish list, I better check..

And these beautiful flowers belong to a row of foxgloves at the allotments. We nipped there to water plants in the greenhouse. On the little track that runs through the allotments, there was a line of foxgloves, daisies, forget-me-nots, soo pretty. I love meadow flowers, they're not all pristine and cloned like shop flowers (not that shop flowers aren't pretty, the rows of little colourful buds are a nice welcome sight when you walk in shops). I don't care that my nose tickles a bit with hayfever, or that people might be wondering what on earth I'm doing, flitting from one side of the track to the other, leaning on the ground, madly photo-taking. It's worth it.

Can you see the bee in one of the bells?

The first newsletter of June was released yesterday: if you want to join the newsletter mailing list, just click on the top right blog icon, and let us know.
Happy crafting!
Craftybird x

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Mint chocolate class and an elegant class

Just a quick post to show piccies of the 17th June Elegance Cards class with Kath, and an addition to the June/July class schedule: the Mint Chocolate Cards class, which is on Friday 25th June, 1o.30am - 3pm. If you'd like to join either of these classes, just email or ring us at the shop, using the details on the right hand side.
Here are snippets of the elegance cards class with Kath...

These are the Mint Chocolate cards...turquoise and dark brown papers, card candy, ink and parenthesis rectangles (bracket shaped rectangles). This Mint Chocolate range of products are Craftwork Cards goodies.

Some close-ups/sneak peeks........

Coincidentally, I am about to go finish off some Thornton's Dark Chocolate with Mint. I HIGHLY recommend it. I once read that if you have dark chocolate, just a piece, and put it on your tongue and let it melt, there are enough endorphins in it to make you feel good and not feel the need to eat any more for that day. Well, I keep trying, but I end up eating it instead, and having to go back for another piece :)

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Thick Embossing Powder...tips

When I sent out the latest recipe newsletter, I promised to make a post about ultra thick embossing powder. I haven't actually got photos of thick embossing powder in action to pop with the following tips...blog posting without photos oof that's an uncolourful sight, it doesn't feel natural! I have no photos because the most recent thick embossing I did - well, I forgot to photograph it! Even though the camera was nearby. I got engrossed in watching it as it melted all metallicky.
I felt it needed to be made as a post subject, because I did some thick embossing in the newsletter, and I did it in a way that isn't normally done (see tip three).
Tip ONE..I know this sounds like I'm sell sell selling, but honestly as a crafter, I like the ultra thick embossing powders we have in the shop. They're metallicky and shimmery once they're melted, we have a sample of a wooden box covered in melted powder to check out too. So tip one is: if you're going to thick emboss, you gotta get some opaque metallic colourful powders. We sell Blonde Moments they're yum.

Tip TWO...always ink your surface-to-be-embossed first. Otherwise the powder won't stick. With opaque coloured powder, any colour is fine, but Versamark works best, as it's particularly sticky.

Tip THREE...Once you've applied the first layer, tipped off excess, and melted it, normally most tell you to pour the next layer on while it's still melted. But these are thick crystals, and trying to get 'em to stick onto the previous layer is difficult. Sections often cool and you don't cover all your shape. So, we have discovered it's easier to let the first layer cool fully, then re-ink your shape with Versamark. Really inked, therefore really sticky, it's easier to get a full coat of powder.

Tip FOUR...At least three layers is needed if you're planning to press a stamp into this melted powder. Otherwise, however few or as many layers as you like.

Tip FIVE...Ink your stamp ready, about the time you are going to heat your last layer. No ink on stamp, stamp sticks into powder. Damaging stamps is a sad sight! It's an unspoken rule amongst stampers, stamps must be respected :)

Tip SIX...A little carton/tray nearby to sit your shape in while you pour powder over is a good plan. As embossing powder does make a sandy beach out of your work top, if spillage happens.

Tip SEVEN....Two powders on the same shape looks real good.

tip EIGHT...stamp into a melted powdered shape while last layer is still hot and squishy. And then, piece de resistance, brush Blonde Moments Pigment Powder (it's like colourful eyeshadow, shimmery too! And watercolour possible if you want it to) into the indented stamped bit. The powder sticks to the ink you used. Especially if it was Versamark.

That's enough chinwagging for one night, I'll leave you in peace :)
Happy crafting, see you soon x

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Late May recipes and pop-up book class

The following photo is a sneak peek of one of the recipes on our late May newsletter, the most recent of our recipe newsletters. This is the vintagey recipe, there's a bright, rainbow-like recipe to contrast it.

The next photos are of the pop-up minibook class, on Saturday 19th June. Email or ring the shop if you'd like to join this class. It's 11.30am - 2pm, £20 inc materials and tea/coffee/biscuits.

What a May it's been, hope June is better! I have been quite ill througohut, just waiting now to find out what's making me ill. Had to leave my mum to teach Saturday afternoon on her own - she did it brilliantly, but felt really bad that I was not there to be her assistant! It makes it much easier, having an assistant, to help people, cut things out if anyone's not a fan of cutting out, or help solve any happy accidents (accidental slips of cutting through the wrong paper or image ;)).

So looking forward to feeling well, I miss that feeling :). It makes you appreciate things though, and realise there are lots of people out there who have lots of things wrong, who suffer from illnesses that make you think, 'wow, how do they cope with that?'.
On to lighter notes...next gatherings are friday 11th june and saturday 26th june.

Each are 11am - 3pm, £3 and inc tea/coffee/biscuits and you can use the tools in the classroom. Bring a project, whether you are a scrapbooker, cardmaker, knitter, altered artist...whatever craft. Sit and make and chat and relax.

The C classes are going on at the moment - that is, C is for Colour. They're all booked up, but the next class in our alphabet series is D is for Diecuts. That is on Friday 2nd July 10.30am - 3pm (£20 everything inc except lunch and yourself). There's a repeat of this class on Saturday 10th July,same time and price. We haven't made any samples for this class yet, as we are looking at potential new papers for it, but when we've done the samples, they'll be posted on here :)

Hope everybody's had a good Bank Holiday, what have you all been up to? I could say we've done all sorts, but that would be telling fibs ;) A walk to the shops is as exotic as I got! And lots of chilling out.
Must dash, need to check up on my mum, see if she's having any luck finding a copy of 'Eclipse' (from the Twilight saga). She kindly offered to look for it on her trip out. Well, if it's going to be a while before I get better, might as well read through the mountain of books on my 'to read' list. Anybody got any good recommendations, of must-read books?

Take care x