With love…

There are a lot of times when you might want to send someone a boost, good wishes, happy thoughts, or a mass of things other than actual birthday greetings or a specific occasion cards. This one is a perfect example of something you could send to anyone at any time.

The image is from the Tom Mielko project book and is one of several on that I have used more times than I can count for really beautiful cards that are for a more general purpose.

The basic stepper card is something many people have mastered now and it does help give the card a bit of ‘oomph’ and looks different to the standard flat card. Remember, with all cards, it really does pay to use a decent weight of card blank – skinny economy ones let down all that good work you have put into designing your creation. Nothing annoys me more than receiving a card that just isn’t tough enough to stand up and goes all floppy in the middle and collapses!

I hope you all have a good day today – whether the sun shines or not, imagine yourself chilling in that pretty scene and all being right with the world!


Heavenly hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are very definitely in my top three flowers or garden plants. I have said repeatedly that hellebores are my number one choice… but hydrangeas, particularly blue hydrangeas, come a very close second.

I planted 10 of them this year in lovely white containers around the patio and they looked gorgeous. It’s true that now they look a bit sad as winter has come but they will be back next year – but I bet they won’t be blue and that they will rutn out pink or green or red or any other colour as that’s the way it seems to go for me! However, I have found a bottle of special ‘stuff’ that promises to change hydrangea colours, so who knows?

I think this card is card is completely brilliant. The soft green backing paper is from Jane Shasky’s Heart of the Garden CD. If you haven’t bought that one yet you are missing out – it has to be one of my most used CDs of all time – just amazing! The main image is from the Daphne Brissonet Pad 2 – again if you haven’t got any of her artwork – so inspirational, I find the cards almost make themselves from that pad – it’s a great buy.

Dies are always a really professional way to add embellishments on a card and the two used here are from my Signature Die ranges – what a surprise! – the Clarissa lace edger and Grand Flourish. So if you fancy treating yourself to some instant mojo – my suggestion would be the Jane Shasky’s CD and the Daphne Brissonet pads.



A picture paints a thousand words…

The other day I was reading about a portrait being removed from the National Portrait Gallery because the person in the picture had ‘fallen from grace’. That set me thinking about who gets their portraits painted – the great and the good and the wealthy generally speaking. And then that set me thinking about what it must have been like before photography came along…

Imagine if you didn’t have your photo albums, or your pictures stored on your laptop, tablet or phone, would you feel lost? I know I would. I often look at the photos of my family (especially my gorgeous granddaughter Grace) and they are inspiring, comforting and often poignant when it is a photo of someone who is no longer with us.

So imagine life before the photograph. Unless you were wealthy enough to have had a portrait painted, or were lucky enough to know someone talented who could sketch a likeness… you would have no record of your loved one. I find that very hard to think about as we have all grown up with photographs creating ‘instant’ images and knowing we can look back and savour an event, or a person.

Photography really began in the first half of the 1800s, but didn’t become commonplace until the second half of that century. So, carrying around an image of your loved one is a relatively recent thing. I am guessing that is why people had locks of hair and other mementoes stored in lockets and the like – there was nothing else they could do.

And so, back to portraits… and of course one of the fascinating things about them is that they are the ‘likeness’ created by the painter and may not be all that accurate. I always smile when I see portraits from certain eras when it seems all women were endowed with incredibly sloping shoulders (sweaters would have simply slipped to the floor!), or swan-like long necks that would have looked ridiculous in real life.

We don’t really know what Jane Austen looked like, but there are enough portraits of people powerful or famous in their day – like Oliver Cromwell for example – to know that he really was a bit of a warty old thing! We know that King Henry VIII had red hair and was a pretty stout chap, but of course no-one who wanted to live a full life was going to portray him as fat and balding, now were they?!

So, we are lucky today in that the arrival of digital photography means we can pretty much take photos any time and any place we like. But are we that lucky? There is, of course, the issue that most of us do not print our photos out, just as we rarely write letters in ink on paper, trusting everything to technology. If disaster ever strikes and the internet fails or we run out of electricity, we would lose everything. The National Portrait Gallery will still be there and libraries and archives of letters will still exist. But perhaps after all, it is the memories we retain in our minds that really count as they stay with us for ever.


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.

1 Comment

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.