Sea Otters

These are some of my favourite animals – in the whole world – I just adore the little things. They have to win cute marks from most people and I think this makes a lovely card.

The image is from the Jody Bergsma 8” x 8” cardmaking pad – and the backing paper is from the eternally useful Thomas Kinkade triple CD.

The base card measures  210mm x 150mm. First make the backing paper piece by cutting some kraft card slightly smaller than the card blank. On top of that layer some torn strips of parchment or pearlescent paper to look like surf and then some of the sea backing paper.

Now mat the otter topper on first kraft and then blue card and attach. Mat the little sentiment from the same sheet in the pad on blue and add underneath. Finally add the single layer of decoupage pieces. Embellish with some Signature die leafy flourishes and some shells.

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Flowery cards

It’s very hard to buy flowers for somebody in hospital these days, there’s so little space and really the staff would prefer to keep vases to a minimum. So one way round it is to make flowery cards to send.

My poor Mum is in hospital currently with a broken femur which is tough for any age to get over and I visit each day and try and take something new on each visit. Sometimes it is a gardening catalogue that has big bright pictures of flowers. This pictures shows the cards I am taking today for her.

The red rose card is made using a rubber stamped image – but it’s a nice change to have the texture of hessian with it. In my mother’s case, textures are an excellent addition to anything as her eyesight is unreliable and touching things brings her pleasure.

The fan/gardenia card uses our Signature die rose fans – I have incorporated them into many cards since they were designed, I love bending the petals up to give a really 3D effect if it suits the card. The gardenia image comes from the Daphne Brissonet pad 2 collection, again something that I have used over and over again!

There’s no room at a hospital bedside for framed photos so, tomorrow I think the cards could be of groups of family photos decorated with pretty diecuts – it’s fun trying to think of something different each time.

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Miniature works of art – with character!

I have always been fascinated by things in miniature – you’ll recall my blog a few months ago about model villages. Well, this blog is about even smaller works of art!

My eye was caught by a Facebook post featuring these absolutely delightful creatures! On closer investigation I found that their creator, the very talented Emma Cocker, lives and works in north Devon. She describes her work as ‘Handcrafted textile artworks, with character…’

Emma at work…These beautiful little figures are very definitely works of art – and not toys. They are for ‘grown up’ children to marvel at. Her work is sold in galleries across the country and she hand-makes every detail, from the tiny knitted sweaters to hand stitched mini rucksacks and tiny boot and shoes. The detail is wonderful.

Emma says; “I create quintessentially English characters, fabric sculptures and illustrations inspired by the coast and country. My work is carefully crafted in knit and stitch, combining antique, vintage and reclaimed textiles, and British wool. From ethical textile taxidermy, in the form of stags’ horns and a dapper fox dressed in his best hunting suit, to a crew of salty seadogs and complimentary, oversized knitted buoys I like to create pieces that surprise and question.”

Emma also makes hand-knitted anchors and buoys, and has experimented in the art of ‘ethical taxidermy’ in the form of knit-covered horns and antlers. Interesting!

As one would hope, Emma lives in the sort of house you would imagine – a tiny cob cottage on the coast at Appledore. ‘I feel lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world. From walking in the woods and seeing the colours of the bluebells, to local fisherman bringing in their catch of the day — it all feeds in to what I do. I love walking the coastal path, swimming in my favourite coves and rummaging in a good charity shop!”

You can buy her figures on Etsy, but if their price ticket is beyond you… just have a look at the lovely photography on her website and Facebook page and you can enjoy the exquisite detail, humour and skill in her miniature anthropomorphic figures.

Photos: www.kevinnicholson.com

© Emma Cocker

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Famous quotes

This card is a slightly different look for us! Here you have a fabulous quote – from Sheena Douglas’ Only Words stamps, through the rain. But if you don’t have that stamp then you could use any quotes either printed or stamped. Why not put a few words like ‘Happy Birthday To You‘ or whatever – the choice is yours, that’s why making your cards is such fun!

The basic card is 6 inches square in cream with a layer of burgundy card on top.

The frame has been embossed using another Sheena product, her dry stone wall textures folder. That pretty edged square is created by using a Spellbinders Majestic Elements Labels One die that has been distressed a bit with a some Old Paper distress ink.

The embellishments were simple – the black sprays are from our Signature die called leafy flourish and then the Signature die Tudor Rose on top.

Times have changed so much since the arrival of embossing folders and dies. I still love making cards with gorgeous pictures on, but it is nice to have the choice of all these dies and goodies!

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House-Mouse and Freesias

This is one of my favourite House-Mouse designs – not that I don’t love them all! This has been cleverly themed with our freesia Signature die.

It’s one of my standard 8 x 8 inch cards – and the backing paper which also features freesias comes from the House Mouse Decoupage CD.

So apart from that lovely little bunch of die-cut freesias which have been coloured with Promarkers, the other really pretty embellishment is created using our Signature die called Harriet, the edges are just tipped with some ink from a Dusty Concord Distress pad.

For me House-Mouse never gets old!

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