Patchwork dreams…

I have dreamed about relaxing and quietly stitching a beautiful patchwork quilt for about thirty years now, so that’s not looking promising is it? Much as I would love to take the time to learn and to stitch something that could become a family heirloom, life seems to have got in the way.

So I am often tempted to take shortcuts that do fit into my lifestyle and one of the latest patchwork shortcuts I have designed are some patchwork-shaped dies. Signature dies now offer some mini patchwork shapes and I thought those would be fun for dolls houses, some medium and some large.

This card shows really beautifully how the large size can be used. This is an 8-inch square card and I’ve used several of the shapes. I think it also shows you how smart matting and layering can make a card look.

All the ingredients on the card are paper or card based, but do remember dies being put through most of the machines will also cut fabric – so maybe this is a shortcut to making a little material quilt? If you have a go at making one, do let me know how you get on!

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The Nativity scene… seen differently

We are really enjoying making things with our Signature die range and it’s fun to have some different ideas and inspirations. To get some new and fresh input, we have ask some of our design team to produce some cards to make a stunning display of samples for the NEC exhibition at the beginning of November.

There’s no better way to demonstrate what wonderful designs you can create with the dies than to display a board full of pretty cards! I will be demonstrating too but we can’t demonstrate everything, so the boards are a really useful backup.

Here are a couple of ideas using the Nativity set. This is a limited edition set of dies for 2013. These cards don’t use the whole collection but give you some design ideas.

The background for the wise men with the palm trees can be achieved with some Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads and an Inkylicious brush or two. Alternatively, you can use some ink blending foam. As you can see it’s a pretty simple card but, oh so effective!

I loved the nativity card for the unusual white on black colouring rather than black on white. The construction, again, is fairly simple but this really eye-catching effect is very pleasing!

 

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An elegant and stylish wedding card

I do like this wedding card – so, elegant and stylish. It’s from a demonstration I did when we launched the Age of Elegance CD recently.

I love the whole era of the arts and crafts movement and the late 19th century painters and designers. William Morris has been a passion of mine for many, many years. I’ve had curtains and table mats, tea towels and cushions… the list goes on! In fact, as I write this, I am sitting opposite some Golden Lily curtains – the original design is by William Morris and the fabric is by Sanderson.

This card has an unusual feature – a square/rectangle is cut using a decorative die and then you make a slot in both ends and slide a strip of card through – giving a lovely and unusual ‘buckle’ type effect, which I love.

One of the happy things after a wedding is always looking through the messages and cards you have been sent and I think with a card like this it would be kept forever, tucked into a box of happy memories!

 

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New baby – but is it a boy or a girl…?

I love happy news of new babies! Family is very important to me (and friends obviously) and we have two new members of the family due in the next few months and I am really looking forward to planning a nice gift and making cards. I know that my first grandchild, due in late October/early November, is a little girl, but the sex of my new nephew or niece is still unknown – so exciting! Of course, all that matters is that they are well and healthy but I always find it really exciting discovering the sex of the child.

When you have no idea whether it’s going to be a boy or a girl you need to go for something neutral if you want to plan ahead. This baby card uses a rubber stamp from the adorable Suzie’s Zoo range and is probably one of my favourite images in the collection. This image is just as suitable for a boy and a girl and can work just as well for bigger girls and boys too – singing in the rain is a great topic for a get well card too! This card has a blue ribbon and backing papers but you could use lemon or pale green if you need to be neutral.

This easel design is now considered one of the staples in card design and it does show off the design brilliantly. The other point I’d like to make is the embossing. If you haven’t tried using embossing folders in your card making yet, I would definitely encourage you to have a go as it produces wonderful textures that can make a massive difference to your project.

 

 

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Old-fashioned Christmas

“Christmas?” I hear you cry, “Has the woman lost the plot?” No, honestly, I haven’t! I just wanted to show you a couple of samples from the Victorian Christmas Card CD, in case any of you were planning to make lots of cards for charity or for general sale and needed to start early.

One section of this CD I would particularly like to point out to you is the Shaped Cards section on CD3. Here, you have a lovely selection of cards that are not the usual rectangular or square shape, but have little cutaways and other pretty devices to make small but stunning cards. With the cost of postage going up all the time I know there are many that want to make sure their Christmas cards are compact and the postage element is as inexpensive as possible.

These two cards are examples of the designs on the CDs. There are hundreds of pages to mooch through and, as we all know, deciding what to use is always a tough decision! Every topper has a backing paper and multiple inserts and stationery to match so there’s no excuse not to be totally co-ordinated this year!

The reason I like the more vintage designs is, I suppose, because I love remembering the Christmasses of my childhood when everything was just perfect! Of course it wasn’t, but my memories always tend to be viewed through rose tinted spectacles and perhaps that’s the best way for things to be!

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