Sunday, 1 April 2018

Gorgeous new easel cards

Did you enjoy the first easel card launch from Crafters, I know I did, I love easel cards, they look so complicated to a non-crafter but are actually really easy to make and great fun to decorate!

Tomorrow evening on Hochanda, Fiona will be bringing the second easel card launch so you will have even more fun shapes to play with.  Here are a couple of my makes using just one of the new shapes - the ‘Henna Easel’, they really are very different cards but starting from the same base.

I hope you can find a slot in your busy easter schedules to tune in, I know you won't regret it!



Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Thank You Crafters Companion

Well, 4 years ago today, I received an email at 7 p.m. that was to change my life in so many ways - it was a very welcome but completely unexpected email, and I will share the text below, it was headed “Congratulations”:

Hi Rachel

Congratulations you have won a place on our  Crafter's Companion Design Team 2014.

We were so impressed with your creativity and cannot wait to have you join the team.

I was completely stunned, I really expected to receive a rejection - I’d already had one the previous year (but I’m persistent if nothing else!).  I can tell you, I bawled my eyes out, and kept doing it every time I thought of the enormity of what had just happened.

Then, once that finally subsided, I started to feel sick to the pit of my stomach, they were bound to realise very quickly that they’d made a mistake, I was not good enough to be on the design team and then I would face the humiliation of leaving the team.  What if I was given a DT assignment that I did not like?  I was not sure how I would cope, what if I couldn’t make enough samples and let them down?

Thankfully, I did not let the little voice of doubt in my head stop me from accepting the position on the team.  I was so lucky with my first assignment which was working on the gorgeous Barkley collection - this was one of my makes

I cannot tell you how much I held my breath waiting to be told that I was indeed as rubbish as I thought and that they would find someone to replace me, but it didn’t happen!!!!

Don't get me wrong, there have been collections that when I first saw them I thought, this is not me, this is not my style, how on earth am I going to make something with this.  I did not let this stop me, and you know, one of the collections that I felt like this about was Downton Abbey.  I know many of you watched Downton Abbey religiously, but I never did, so thought that it would not appeal, but as soon as I started looking through the papers and toppers on the CD, I realised that if I just ignored the name, it was a most INCREDIBLE collection - it became, and still is, one of my favourite collections.

Then, after a couple of years, I was even luckier that Jo McKelvey, who was head of the team at the time (still miss you Jo), asked me to join the Die'sire design team - so then I got to play, not only with the gorgeous CD's and stamps from Crafters Companion, but those stunning dies too!!!  this was the first collection I got to play with.

I have had the most amazing 4 years on the team, learned so much, and still think that eventually they will find someone to replace me, but so far, so good.  Don't get me wrong, I have made the occasional bad design, and sometimes, makes that I think are awful turn out to be everyone else's favourites - keeps you on your toes! 

I love working for Crafters, my next ambition would be to get paid to craft in some way.  I did tell my current employer that if I could get a job in crafting I would be gone in a heartbeat - he wasn't very happy with this, funnily enough he thought I do my day job for love and not the income!  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy my day job, but it is a means to an end and not an end in itself, and that's where I'd like to head.

I've even been given the opportunity to work with one of Sara's Signature ranges (I usually buy them all anyway!), this is one of my favourite makes from the awesome Flutterby collection.

Anyway, in the meantime, I will continue to throw my heart and soul into making my designs for Crafters Companion and hope they don't notice how bad I am!

Sorry I've been AWOL for so long, I will try and update my blog more often.



Sunday, 24 September 2017

Climbing the Stairs

Okay, I had no idea how many people would want to have a go at making the extended stairway card that I made for Crafters Companion, but it seems that some of you do, so I've done a video with some instructions - hope they make sense & you have some fun!

Please let me know what you think (be nice!)



Thursday, 20 July 2017

Super Size

Okay, so I hope you're all loving the new kinetic dies from Crafters Companion, they really do give your cardmaking the WOW! factor - especially if you can super size the designs.

These next two cards do exactly that, they take the concept and have some fun with it.  The first uses the stairway die, and although it looks complicated to do, if you have a big format die cutting machine it really is fairly straight forward.  If you don't cut an A4 sheet of card down, and start with the worker die in the bottom right corner (looking at the card in portrait), then after you have cut this you just need to re-lay the worker die so that it overlaps the cuts already made, but extends them (if you lay the die over the top and gently move it around, it finds the cuts all on its own), tape it down & cut again, you may need to do this a couple of times to get to the top of the card but it really is worth it.  You can now accommodate words up to 10 letters!

This next card takes the shutter card concept and doubles up so you can get a large design in the centre, great for really special occasions, or just those really special people!  I just created this as two shutter cards and joined them in the middle with a card piece at the back (using my ribbon as a design piece to hid the join), but you could just double up on the length of card and cut the worker die at either end so that it is made from one piece of card.  The decorative edge sets are great for this type of card and just finish it off beautifully.

Well, I hope you can get to watch todays shows (9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.), sadly I'll be slaving away at the office but hey ho, there's always catch up!



Tuesday, 18 July 2017

And now for something completely different

OMG! I am really excited by this, following on from the Kinetic Dies Crafters Companion released earlier this year (the circle and diamond swing card dies), they are now releasing a Shutter Card die and Stairway Die!!!  How awesome is that?  I know myself with the shutter card that they are a real pain to do, even with a scoring board (the number of times I've scored the wrong line), so to be able to produce stunning results every time with just a pass through my Gemini, is just mindblowing!

This first card was made using the shutter die and Decorative Edge Set 2 for the edges.  The papers and embellishments all came from Sara's Signature Shabby Chic range, love, love, love this card!

This next card was made using the Stairway die, which makes a fabulous card just using the die and cut in panels that come with it, the fun only stops when you run out of 5 letter words (though I have found a way to extend it, which I will show you soon......).  But even that doesn't have to stop you, the stairs could have a cascade of butterflies, or whatever your heart desires, this really is a showstopper card to make but the secret is in the fabulous dies - again, a quick pass through the machine and all the hard work is done for you.

I suppose you'd like to know when you can get your hands on these lovely designs - well you only have a day to wait, they launch on Hochanda at 6 p.m. tomorrow, 19th July.

Well, I must be off, see you again soon & I'll show you how you can extend out these lovely dies.



Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Ssshhhh!!!! it's the C word!

Well, I know it's been a while again, but at least I'm back crafting - Yay!!!!

And as you know Christmas sneaks up quickly on the unsuspecting, so us crafters have to be ultra prepared!  Crafters Companion is going all out again this year to help with this and have some amazing launches in July on Hochanda - Have you seen Sara's latest signature range!!!! O M G! it's to die for (& already been added to my collection as they're being super quick with deliveries - just as well because I have absolutely no patience for these things!).

Anyhoo.... I was given the pleasure of working with some new Foil Transfers and Foils designed specifically for the festive season, and to whet your appetite for the launch tomorrow, I thought I'd show you a couple of my offerings.

This first make is a candle jar (I've used a battery operated candle so it's perfectly safe) and a washed out salsa jar - recycling too - go me!

The transfers don't go on very easily to the jar, but I think this adds to the rustic nature of the make, I've added some gems to the centre of the snowflakes for added sparkle and then some ribbon and tags - you could even colour the jars on the inside with some alcohol inks to give different coloured glows, or you could use a larger jar and a string of lights.

My second make goes back to a traditional card shape and would make a lovely quick (ish) card for Christmas - the sentiment is from the Foil Transfers, and I've used Matt Silver foil for both of my makes.  some of the snowflakes have been covered with Stick-it and then foiled over the top to continue the look.

Whether you go for something simple or a bit more complex, these foils and transfers really add another dimension - they are great fun to work with & not at all like the old transfers which were really annoying and didn't always stick down properly.

Well, I hope you can be there for the launch of these as the one day special on Thursday at 6 p.m. as you really don't want to miss out, what with these and the other launches, I think I'm on beans for the rest of the month, well year!

Take care & TTFN


Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Woo Hoo! I'm Back

Well, it has been a very long road to get to where I am now.  I had to stop crafting for several months while my kitchen was flung to the far corners of my house, and all across my craft room!  But, I now have a functioning kitchen, oh, who am I kidding, I have an amazing kitchen! and I also have the space to craft again

So here I am back playing with my favourite crafting products from my favourite crafting company, boy am I lucky!

These Create a Card edgeables have been seen before, but Crafters Companion have recently launched the Centura Metallics cardstock, and boy are they a match made in heaven.  Centura cardstock has always been perfect for die cutting, but these metallics are just divine for giving a beautiful crisp edge to the cut and adding complete luxury to  cards.  The link I've given above will take you to all things Centura, but the pack I was using for these cards was the Precious Metals pack (which is part of a multi-buy offer at the moment!).

My first card combines the gorgeous edgeable, 'Sophia' on both sides of a gatefold to create a lovely Congratulations card.  I've also used Sara's signature Glamour collection to decorate the inside of the card, her dress looks stunning in the metallic shimmer of Centura, and I used the Diesire Celebration words for the 'congratulations' (love, love, love the word dies, which are so useable).

My next card again uses the Centura Metallics Precious Metals, but I hope you will agree is completely different in style.  I created an easel card and cut the 'Victoria' edgeable across the front.  I then cut the same die back to back on the metallic card stock and used two strips of ribbon across the middle to hide the join (and create a focus).  I should mention at this point that the Centura Metallics emboss beautifully too, which is what I did on the base of the easel (6x6 splendour folder, not sure if this is still available, but I've no doubt others would be perfect too), I then created a stopper for the easel and decorated this using Sara's Signature Shabby Chic collection (aged rose and filigree flourish).

I hope you like these cards, it feels really good to be back making again.  I believe the dies will be on Hochanda this Saturday (3rd June) at 7 a.m., midday and 3 p.m. if you'd like to tune in (ha! who tunes their telly these days! showing my age!) for some more inspiration.