The first thing I do when I get junk mail (before putting it in the bin) is look inside the envelope to see what the pattern is. In the UK there are a few regular patterns that keep cropping up, but occasionally you find a new pattern or a slightly different shade. If the envelope is from abroad it is even more exciting as they have completely different patterns & colours from UK envelopes. And the best thing about it is that it is free patterned paper.
I originally bought the small Quickutz whale die with the intention of making cards with the caption “have a whale of a time” or “make a splash” on your birthday, but this bigger Quickutz die is even better. I was looking through my stash of junk mail envelopes as I had applied to have a stall at a recycled / upcycled fair, when the phrase “Junk Mail Whale” came into my head. I cut out & assembled a few & they look quite good. I think I might try some birds next.
I have been scouring charity shops for packs of playing cards to make my ’52 Things I Love About You’ notebooks. I am always fascinated by the subtle differences in the patterns on the back & the expressions on the faces of the royals, & even the font of the numbers. I came across this pack which was actually a game called ‘Hearts’. It contained all the normal 52 cards but also a couple of extras like this queen, which was perfect for a ‘Thank You’ card.
When I am asked to make a card for a special occasion, I must admit that I don’t always know exactly what I am going to do from the start. Most of the time the card evolves as I go along. For this wedding card I decided to use the Quickutz funky cake die. This is a versatile die which, in bright colours, can be a birthday cake or, as in this occasion, in silver & white for a wedding cake. I was itching to use my newly-acquired alphabet dies (Quickutz Calvin, recently purchased from Ebay) & was pleased to see that the words ‘Wedding Day’ just fitted along the top of the card. Fortunately the bride’s & groom’s names weren’t too long, so I also cut them in this font. For the date at the bottom I used the smaller Quickutz Olivia alphabet. This was the first die cut alphabet I bought, many moons ago. It has had a couple of re-applications of ejection foam, but is still going strong. The bride & groom on the top of the cake are also old Quickutz dies I have had for ages. I didn’t intend to make this card using only Quickutz dies, but that’s the way it turned out.
When I first saw this Sizzix ‘mummy with movable limbs’ die I thought it would be great for quirky mothers day cards. When I cut out my first mummy I realised it was a lot bigger than I thought & far too big for my normal size cards, so it was stashed away. This year I remembered I had bought some 5 x 7 kraft cards to use for a particular project. I had a go at cutting the mummy again & found it fitted perfectly. I stamped random small flowers all over the card & then coloured in the centres with glitter pens. I cut the mummy from glitter card I assembled it with brads in the holes provided. A flower on its head makes it less fierce-looking. It is only attached to the card by the body & head so the arms & legs can be moved into different positions.
This simple cat sillhouette with its bead collar is cut from vivelle, so it is very tactile. I love matching papers & I’m sure I spent just as long, if not longer, choosing just the right backing paper, just the right colour of beads & just the right combination of flowers & centres to match than I did actually making up the card – but that’s half the fun. I made a selection in variious colours (see ‘other occasions’ card gallery for the others)
With the extended holiday period over Christmas, I finally found the time to break into my rapidly-growing hoard of coloured plastic bottles & cut some shapes ready to turn into junk jewellery.
The next fun part was seeing what shapes & colours go together. The combinations are endless – the hardest part was just choosing. I decided to start simple & go for simple drop earrings in contrasting colours. I think the colours go well together. I cut some tags from old cardboard boxes (plenty lying about after Christmas deliveries) to display them on. Recycled tags are very apt for displaying recycled jewellery – & they look good.
I love the contrast of white on plain kraft card so I randomly stamped lots of small snowflakes onto kraft cards. I then swiped old book pages with TH Picket Fence distress paint to dull down the yellow colour of the old pages. I then cut out snowmen from the whitened pages & stuck them on the snowy cards. The slightly wonky mouths really give them character. I don’t think any greeting is needed – the picture says it all.
Just booked for this fabby extra Christmas craft fair. Crafts, carols & cakes!
A commission for a 40th birthday card for a lady who ‘likes retro, Cath Kidson, & dreams of owning a VW camper van’. This ‘Britannia die’ looked a bit fiddly with all the separate pieces to cut out but it wasn’t as tricky as it looked, & went together quite well.