Welcome to my blog

I hope you enjoy reading my posts, and please leave me a comment. I always enjoy reading them, and will try to visit you in return.

You are welcome to copy any of my designs, as long as you do not take credit for them yourself. I am very happy for you to sell them. If I have used anyone else's design, I always try to give credit where it is due. If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will put things right.

This is intended to be mainly about my crafting stories, as a personal record of what I do. However, I interpret crafting quite widely, not just paper crafting but other things too. I have a butterfly mind and like to change from one thing to another depending on what I feel like on a given day - knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, cards, baking and several others.

Friday, 11 June 2010

First ever posting - 11th June 2010

I thought my birthday was a good day to start this blog. I was inspired to have a go by Silverwolf (Shaz), who is such a talented crafter.

My name is Margaret, and I have been (and still am) happily married to Geoff. Both our children are now married and have given us lovely grandchildren to play with. After years of having nutty Burmese cats, we now have two even nuttier working cocker spaniels to keep us busy and amused.

I only got started on card making 4 years ago when we were asked to do the wedding invitations for our son's wedding. The design
was very plain and simple, with gold peel off stickers - just what they asked for, and carried through to the place cards. Of course, I bought far too many cards and far too many peel offs, so what do you do in that case..... you've got it - you buy more stuff to help you to use it all up. Then you need more equipment and more stuff because you do not quite have the right colour to do the next project. And so it goes on until the craft box becomes a craft room to give you space to work, then you find you are restricted to a small area to sit because the stuff has taken over. It is so addictive.

I have always crafted in some way, starting with embroidery at school. My aunt taught me to knit and she was a very strict teacher, insisting that I kept my fingers on both needles at all time. I cursed her at the time, but I have blessed her many times since for giving me the skills to knit evenly and fast. I taught myself to crochet from a book. Cross stitch started about 10 years ago when I have a bad bout of vertigo and needed to do something where I could keep my head and eyes
perfectly still to avoid feeling sick.

I used to do cross stitch cards for those I thought would value the time and thought I put into it, but now, most of my cards are papercrafted. I keep pictorial records of all the cards I make, together with the date and who it was for - helps to avoid sending the same or similar card to the same person. It is also good to look back and see how I have progressed and to see how I could improve in the future.

I love trying new techniques and I do watch a lot of the craft programmes on QVC and Create and Craft to pick up new ideas. I generally record them and watch the bits I am interested in later. Every so often, I ring Silverwolf and pick her brains about a better way to do something, and find a better and cheaper way to achieve a good effect. The latest craze is to type your own wording to personalise your card, print it out and emboss it. Silverwolf showed me how to do that 3 years ag
o - nothing in this world is totally new.

Acetate is also one of the "in" things to use. Again, something I have been using for 12 months or more, either as a wrap for a card or as an enhancement for the main image. I notice that is now being used a lot on t
he various programmes. A technique that looks good, especially for the stained glass type of image is to print the image as normal on good paper, then flip it on your screen (most graphics programs will give you that facility) then print it onto printable acetate. Cut the acetate with a good border outside the image, turn it over and position it accurately over the paper image. Holding it safely in place, lift a corner and apply adhesive in an area which does not show. Once it is fixed, you can carefully lift each side to apply adhesive, cut it out and use on your card. To hide the adhesive, you could create a border to place over the top. You could also back the acetate image on to silver or gold mirri card.

Commercially produced craft materials are a good way to start, but I do enjoy finding my own ways to produce similar or even better results. The images on Joanna Sheen's discs are brilliant, and can be used in your own graphics program to manipulate them to suit your own project. Do not forget to take your camera wherever you go, and keep your eyes open for anything you could use later. A huge bumble bee on purple crocuses made a fantastic easel card earlier this year. A friend's photo of bluebells carpetting the ground made a superb backdrop with a wrought iron gate (cut on the Silhouette) placed over it. The same friend also took a lovely silhouette of her dog with the backdrop of the Lake District. A little manipulation created another easel card for her birthday this year - something very personal for her.

I intend to add to this blog on a regular basis, adding pictures of some of my cards, and any hot tips I get or discover. Hopefully, I can live up to this. Keep watching.

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