Sunday, 8 July 2012

Thank you never seems to thank enough!

Morning all,

Thank you for all you kind enquiries and messages over the last few months. Please accept my apologies for the delayed response your kindness, warmth and support never ceases to amaze me!

Thank you seems so inadequate but it is truly heartfelt and sent with love. Over the past nine years I have had the privilege of meeting so many crafters, designers and professionals in the industry that have inspired me ( so lucky). Due to circumstances and changes beyond my control I will no longer be crafting with you on a regular basis. However, I will still continue to write the card expert articles so please do send in your questions and will still design for pleasure. I will of course be firmly reestablishing my crafty hobbies and posting my escapades as a fellow crafter, especially as it appears we may not be blessed with a very bright summer!  Do we need an excuse to craft?
Once again may I take this opportunity to thank you all for your consistent support and crafty inspiration. Happy Crafting!!!!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Simply Fabulous Inspirations.

What a beautiful weekend! I do hope you managed to spend some time outdoors and enjoy the fact that Spring has Sprung! With a spring in my step I have had a mammoth photographic session taking advantage of the light and put together a selection of the projects that I produced for the Simply Fabulous shows last week.

Starting simply I used the card base as a feature and used a collection of large die cuts to make a frilly framed shaped diamond card. Of course the problem we encounter with diamond cards is how do they stand and balance. This card is trimmed across the base so it stands and then I have built mats using the co ordinating card collection and smaller dies. I wanted to show how you don't always have to have the matching die shapes to the toppers. Simply identify the main shape and echo it with dies that also suggest that shape. I have used elaborate corners to extend and link the topper with the mats.

Why not create a faux mat finish using embossing powder? I created a faux mat by using a Versamark pad around the edge of the mat and then applied gold pearl embossing powder. Remove excess powder and finally heat set for a co-ordinating finishing touch.

Changing the topper and the colours can add to the drama. We often try to create new compositions all the time, however a change of colour scheme and  topper design the same composition can look totally different and change the occasion altogether!

Identify focal points on a topper and consider alternative ways of interpreting them. This card takes the large bow on the dress and by exaggerating it with a ribbon bow threaded through it brings more dimension and interest to the layers. Accent with bling on the accessories ( its just like being a fashion stylist).

I have always adored acetate and these frames are a perfect opportunity to add the illusion of acetate. To add dimension I have domed the front panel and then added a gemstone to create the illusion of the gemstone pendant on  the necklace. This builds on the previous concept of a focal point and also highlights how dimension can also provide opportunities for creating interest. The almost floating jewel begs the question how did they do that and requires that second glance. So why not try using the acetate layer as a base for creating floating effects?

Finally some more Inspiration and if you are looking for even more why not look at the super samples the team produced on the Kanban Facebook  Photo Gallery!

Simply Fab-U-Lous!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Simply Fabulous !

Just a quick post to let you know that I will be on Ideal World today at 2pm and Create and Craft  at 4pm with the new Simply fabuluos kit that was well recieved last night on Ideal.  We have a number of super Kanban Crafty Bargains for you especially if you are a member of the club. It is well worth joining if you are not a member already and it is very close to my heart after launching it with my dear friend and crafty partner in crime Lynda Chapman almost 7 years ago! How time flies!

Well I do hope you can join me for some crafty fun, beautiful products and great savings.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Forever Florals

Happy Mother's day to all and I hope this day finds you well and smiling with the prospect of the first day of spring next week! Today, I share some projects that I created for the amazing four day deal that I was sadly unable to share with you due to a pesky bug! It seems most fitting to share blooms that last forever and hopefully some of you may have been treated to this super kit today. I was thrilled to receive a beautiful handmade card from my sons and I was most impressed by the delightful breakfast in bed that they made for me, thank you boys! So now off to do some baking for us all to enjoy later and put the finishing touches to the treats for our Moms!

Double trouble by using two card bases together you can create some super finishes and if you purchased the additional shaped card kit you can create some extra special cards for those extraordinary ladies!
A close up of the inner aperture and using the
beautiful embossed floral card as a base, allowing
 the scalloped edge to peek through.

Trifold Damask Diamond Card
Tri-fold card made from two card bases overlapped in the middle and secured with adhesive. You need to trim off the outer scallop so they nestle inside. on both cards. I inserted the vellum panel that I had embossed with a parchment tool for added dimension!
I put the front of this card through an embossing folder. By aligning the folder carefully I left an equal border at the top and the bottom to accent with gems.
Finally the inner panel was created using the stackable decoupage and I cheated by gutting the centre of the base layer and cutting the individual blooms to apply a further layer of decoupage for added dimension on the stacker.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Create and Craft for GOSH @10 am with Kanban.

Good evening all,
I have been busy prepping some real treats for a one hour Kanban Show tomorrow at 10 am. I do hope you will be able to join me, to not only pick up a bargain or two but also to purchase some beautiful kits that have a few surprises in them in the name of a good cause GOSH. So do tune in for some fun and hopefully as many demos as I can cram into an hour with lots of goods for ALL!!!

Monday, 27 February 2012

What a busy couple of weeks!

Firstly, a huge hello and thank you all the wonderful crafters I had the opportunity to met at the Craft Palace opening. A super day was had by all and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing all my hints and tips with so many crafters. A special mention to Belinda and Cindy who spent the entire day with me , leaving with a great crafty stash and all our side aching from laughter.

Secondly, it was the trade show last weekend at the NEC and we all worked hard at house of Kanban to put together what can only be descibed as a major construction and homage to shabby chic styling. The fresh background provided a beautiful base for all the amazing ranges that we launched and presented to the industry. It was so busy we were rushed off our feet and it was such a pleasure to meet so many retailers . We often forget all the hard work that goes into running a craft business as a consumer and I can assure you that so many retailers have come up with innovative ideas to support your crafting addiction and make the most of the ranges that they stock. So if you have not had a chance recently why not pop into your local store and find out what's going on near you !

Finally, after a very busy weekend at Create and Craft I thought this would be a great opportunity to look at the amazing Kandi core that I launched on Friday.  Using the concept of core cardstock Kanban evolved the concept by adding a smooth printed surface on both sides. This provides a great background that cn be distressed with embossing and sanding. Create faux crackle effects by scrunching and sanding back, use your scoreboards to score lines or even images to sand back and create your own embellishments with diecutting tools.

Join Dawn Wheeler and I for shows throughout the week with this super new product that offers you so many crafty possibilities.  Do check the create and craft scheduling to get update show times. I hope to post a few sneak peeks of some new projects I am working on soon.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

A regal store opening !

Great news to share today I am going to be demonstrating a range of products from Kanban at the opening of the Craft Palace. A new Craft store within Osbornes in Sheldon, Birmingham, there will be some super discounts alongside a number of other demonstrators. I am so looking forward the opportunity to catch up with friends and meet new crafters a like. If the last time I attended an Osbornes event was anything to go by, then a good crafty time will be had by all. So if you are looking for a crafty day out  during this cold snap then why not stop by and join us at this super crafty celebration.

See you there!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


On this day in 1828 French Novelist Jules Verne was born, one of the first writers of science fiction ( Twenty Thousand leagues Under the Sea). We often refer to this visionary as being an inspiration for a number of aspects within the Steampunk movement.
I had so much fun creating my Steampunk inspired Goggles card because the wackier the better!

This is an easel card that has a goggle shaped easel front using the diecut cogs from the Kanban  Cog Sheets and the amazing toppers from  the Time Machine collection . The pearl 5mm Bling is perfect in the gunmetal to imitate rivets and by using acetate behind each of the large cogs it really creates a sense of perspective and offers the opportunity to heavily embellish the one lens.By placing the time traveller images behind  the lens it almost gives the illusion of the view of the wearer reflecting the scene before him! How deep is that!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

What the Dickens!

Today is the bicentenary of the birth of the genius writer Charles Dickens, so often in our endeavours to create vintage images we conjure Dickensian references. Whilst reflecting on his talents to scribe such incredible characters ,scenes and the artistry of weaving intricate plots I came across a quote that may appeal to crafters. Although it is not the original intention of the quote I felt a connection with the words as a creator ( possibly an excuse for my passion too! Not that I ever needed one).

"The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists." Charles Dickens , The Pickwick Papers.

So in honour of this inspirational man I thought it would be appropriate to share my original sketches that I made for the Jasper range of stamps. In my subconscious I imaged the larger than life characters travelling through time like an eccentric Dickensian Time lord.
Sketched with  pencil then worked with fineliner pen.
Detail of stamped image.
Keep warm this evening it looks like it's going to be a very chilly one, at least we have the luxury of central heating unlike the citizens of  Dickensian England!

Monday, 6 February 2012

English Rose

Today is a fitting day to celebrate the 'English Rose' with a beautiful image of a paper pieced union flag alongside the Kanban beautiful acetate domes.
So, I thought it was about time I shared an image of a card made from the Pick of the Week last week the Blooming Frames Kit. Those who have followed my work over the years will know just how much I love the use of acetate in my card projects. This kit is an excellent kit for developing your skills with acetate and adding dimension to your projects in a different way. I love the versatility of the arms on the domes enabling you to zig zag fold them to allow them to squeege down for postage ( technical term!), use the folds and slots dome effect or create c shaped arms to create a depth of your choice.

English Rose

 Great top tip print out a flag to the size you require for your mat, using a copyright free image usually found via clipart within some software packages. Then create a pattern piece for each sheet or scrap of patterned paper that you wish to use. I pieced this one on a cream base so it shows through for the finer lines on the flag. Then add the various pieces in layers , Lay them out first and make sure that you note a number on each layer as you remove them to help you reassemble them in the correct order. My initial inspiration for this card was a cushion and I also would like to get my sewing machine out to stitch the pieces in place. When stitching I tend to do mats and layers in a batch and basically nothing is safe! Sew ( sorry) enjoy creating paper pieced mats that reflect stories, themes and styles to compliment your toppers!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Create and Craft Shows tomorrow!

Midst all the excitement and cake I forgot to mention the wonderful Dawn Wheeler is on Create and Craft tomorrow with a really great back in stock that I just know you will be thrilled to see judging by how quickly it sold out previously!!!
So don't forget to tune in for inspiration, some amazing prices and our fabulous Dawn at 9am,2pm and 6pm. What better way to spend a cold bitter day than with a cuppa and serious dose of Craft TV


Welcome to my crafty world and for so many it's a case of about time too Wend! I personally have gained so much inspiration and thoroughly enjoyed blog hops but never really ventured into developing my own. I guess I have always worried about how I can keep it up to date when I so often work bizarre hours and from a range of locations. However, this year I promised myself that I would have a go and do my up most to maintain regular postings sharing close ups of projects created for shows, a variety of ideas and a few tips for good measure!

 Chelsea Buns with  a few naughty additions , yummy!
So in honour of my first post I thought I would share my first creation with my new creative acquisition my Kenwood. So I have baked some cakes ready for afternoon tea to mark the occasion , it has been a while since I have baked and boy did I enjoy it! There are times when you need to be creative in different ways and the bad weather was the perfect excuse for a bake off! What  creative projects have you been working on today?