Saturday, September 08, 2007

Memories of......

Hey from Caz!! I hope you have all had a good week and have an exciting weekend of crafting planned!
In todays post we are going to be looking at a themed mini book. And it's in a format I totally love to do....envelope books! They are seriously so easy and quick to put together, and of course you can make the book as small or large as you need it. With the added bonus of ready made pockets!
As we near the end of 2007 I am amazed to think back at how eventful this year has been for us so far. My DHs son came over to live with us for 6 months, going from 0 to 13 in no time was a shock to my system but has also been a massive learning curve for me. It snowed, heavily, for the first time since moving to the country and that brought with it some very interesting experiences. We got married!! That was a great day, and one I will never forget *heart*. Very good friends of our left to return to NZ for ever (!!) to start a family and settle down, very sad for us :( but FABBO for them. DHs daughter has returned to live in the UK, which we are very happy about. And finally we have 2 new babies in our family which is just too flippin' exciting!
So without further delay, here is the cover for my Memories of 2007 'book' and below it is open showing January to June, July to December are on the other side.
And some close up details photos :)
I have used 7 envelopes to make 12 'pages' plus the front and back cover.
To make up an envelope book all you need to do is adhere the envelope 'flap' to the body of another envelope. You can either lay all the envelopes the same way ie all the 'openings' facing up, or alternate them, so you have openings (ready made pockets) at the front and back of the book. Concertina it and use ribbon to tie it closed.
I have used different papers throughout to represent the theme of the month and photos. And of course it's a great way to use up your off cuts and scraps :)
Print smaller photos so you have loads of room to journal.
I do hope this project has inspired you, and don't forget you can adapt this to use as gifts too.
Grannys would love an envelope brag book of their grandchildren ;)
Ciao and haPPy creATing!! Caz

Friday, September 07, 2007

Beauty in Layers

This project is about backgrounds, collage and layers, integrating new backgrounds and embellishments and found items, to make cards and ATCs.
First, I started with a tissue paper base. I painted randomly all over the paper, and I glued embellishments (heart shapes, sheet music, wings, etc) onto the paper. I added more paint and embossing powder.
I also painted pellon with lumiere paints, left this to dry, cut it up, and glued random elements of it to the tissue paper. This added another layer... At this point, I also glued tulle over parts of the paper.
Next, I took out my favourite embellishments and stamps.
Do you remember these burned velvet hearts?

And these painted tyvek beads?

These pieces were glued randomly into the tissue paper collage. (It's always great to keep extra pieces/embellishments for projects like this one.)

This one made a daisy-bead ATC. I used paints in all pieces to blend colours and bring elements together.
This stamped-fabric fairy collage (Lynn Perrella stamp) was made into an ATC, with paints and embossing powders added. This heart made a housewarming card, again, finished off with paints and powders.
This bead made a scrumptious, textured ATC.
These two hearts will more than likely become inchies...
I hope this gives you some mojo for trying out some new backgrounds with your favourite stamps and embellishments.
xxx Joy

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Christmas in September!

Hands up - how many of you still have stash at the bottom of your cupboard from when you first starting crafting? I pulled all of my Christmas boxes out this week and found quite an array of papers and stickers that I have no idea why I bought, those have been donated to school for the children to cut up, but I did keep some and I am challenging myself to use at least some of the old stuff before I can buy any new Christmas papers. So that is why I am making Christmas cards at the start of September!!! I need to make space for all the new stuff.
For this card I have used mainly resources from my stash, I am sure you have similar kinds of things, or adapt what you have as I'm not sure you can still buy what I have used.
Step 1
Cover a square card blank with patterned paper

Step 2
Cut a strip of dotty paper and cut a scalloped edge using decorative scissors, punch or draw around a 2 pence coin several times and cut out with scissors. Use a fine black pen to doodle along the scallops.

Step 3

Glue onto your card just off centre.

Step 4

Adhere a paper frill, length of ric rac or similar along the straight edge of your spotty paper, ink around the edges of your card using charcoal chalk ink.

Step 5

Use a thin sticker strip to decorate the paperfrill, you could leave it plain or doodle along the edges if you prefer.

Step 6

Take a piece of white card, trim it to fit your sticker and attach the sticker firmly to the centre.

Step 7

Use a fine black pen to doodle around the white card and ink the edges with charcoal chalk ink.

Step 8

Attach the Santa image to the card using foam pads to give added dimension.

Step 9

Tie red gingham ribbon around the fold of the card.

(Pixie Press holly paper, Costco red spotty paper, MAMBI stickers, Doodlebug paperfrills)

Happy Cardmaking

Love Andrea x

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Loveliness to buy online!

Hello! It's Jo here again, with a few links to some online craft/shopping sites where you can buy beautiful, hand-made, unique gifts, or hard-to-find items for special occasions, perfect for that difficult-to-buy-for person, or that significant someone in your life :) You may be familiar with these already, but if you haven't visited for a while, go for a little surf around, as new things are being added all the time. First up on my list is Etsy, a relatively newly-developed site, set up specifically for people selling hand-made goods. It is perfect for people making small quantities who don't want the hassle of setting up a website themselves, but need an outlet for their wares. The number of people selling on Etsy is growing at a fast rate, and you are almost guaranteed to find something to your taste. Although the currency of dealing is US dollars, there is a useful tool, the Geolocator, which enables the buyer to find sellers close to where they're located, so postage needn't necesarily be an issue. There are sellers all over the world, not just in the US. A quick hop around the site easily unearths such lovelies as these: quirky Halloween fabric button fridge magnets; a gorgeous scratchy cat tote bag; a delicious hot pink sock monkey; and finally, these positively edible soapy lollipops! Next up, a look at eBay, and although everyone on the planet is no doubt familiar with eBay, I've found some beautiful things there, particularly for special birthdays and anniversaries. As a source of year-specific memorabilia, it's invaluable. From a crafty point of view, it's great for 'vintage' items, such as these buttons, wooden bingo pieces, Japanese craft book, and fabrics. Personally, I love searching for 60's and 70's coffee sets like this one, but lack of space dictates that I'm not allowed to buy any more!! Cafe Press is a site which allows people to add their own design slogans and pictures to any number of things - t-shirts, aprons, baseball caps, badges, amongst other things. Apart from coming up with the design, pretty much all of the work, in terms of the running of your 'shop', is done for you. Here, here and here are a few designs that caught my eye! And finally today, if you need any excuse to go and spend some of your hard-earned moolah, may I direct you to - again, as with Etsy, some beautiful hand-crafted items, a lot of them made by people in the UK. I am finding it hard to resist this, loving the look of these, and putting this on my Christmas list! If you know of other sites where we can buy beautiful hand-crafted items, please let us know about them - happy shopping!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Helping young children to draw

Hi, it's Maria here again. I have to start with an apology as my scanner has just gone caput. Graham is out and there is no way I can get my pictures scanned now. Why is it everything goes bang at once? Before I go on I have to share of piccie of the winner of our *Creative children campaign*. Danielle is five and starts school today. Good luck Danielle and don't forget to let us know what you buy with your vouchers.

Oakey doakey, onto the reason for todays post. All children love creating but it can be difficult for them to draw something recognisable. Amelia our youngest daughter would get very frustrated and a session with paper and pencils would often result in lots of screwed up *rejects* and a very unhappy girlie.

Then I discovered the I can draw series of books published by Usborne. They break the technique of drawing down into easy pieces anyone can follow. Even my artistically challenged husband managed some animals you could recognise.

We started with the I can draw people and animals books written by Ray Gibson. They are so easy to follow that anyone can be drawing something recognisable within a few minutes. I’ve enlisted the help of my girlie wirlies to show you just how easy it is to draw a fish. There are four stages to follow.

1. Draw an egg shaped body

2. Add the mouth and an eye

3. Crayon some patterns on the body

4. Crayon a tail and two fins

I am so sorry for the quality of the piccie but this is all I have. Luckily, I scanned this one the other day or I would have been left with nothing. I am kicking myself as the girlie wirlies have drawn some fab piccies for me to share. Still, it's a good excuse to go shopping and we do love a good shoppie shop.

Toodle pip

Monday, September 03, 2007

"My Life has been a Tapestry...."

Hi folks from Di.

Lets start with a little bit of something from the past:

"My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue.

An everlasting vision of the ever-changing view"

From Carole King "Tapestry" 1971, yes a looooong long time ago!

I have been thinking about all the crafts I have attempted over the years and remembered about 20 years ago when I discovered Kaffe Fassett. I was inspired by his completely free use of colour and I discovered tapestry or needlepoint!
I started with a kit, a needle and a pair of scissors but was so desperate to finish so I could try something different. This was my first attempt!

Ok, I have to remind you that I am NOT an artist but I do have have my own simple and naive style. I decided to do a story of my life in Cape Town. I bought a large piece of canvas, loads of tapestry wool and just started at the top and worked my way to the bottom. Every now and again I drew a shape that I wanted to stitch, but it was 90% free style. The story ended when my dear dad died so I included the St Andrews Cross in the bottom corner, and a representation of all of his dear friends and family. Then I started another story - my view of Cape Town from the glorious Table Mountain, through the city and harbour across the water to the golf course. And if you look carefully you will see me sinking a putt!!!

When the referendum was announced in South Africa way back in the nineties, I was on a peace mission so got my family and friends to make a small tapestry square depicting what peace meant to them. I called it "Patches of Peace" and the idea was again inspired by Kaffe Fassett.

Tapestry is enjoyable, therapeutic and very relaxing. However, I think I can use my "Patches of Peace" idea to do a large multi page layout of my family.
If you are keen to try tapestry, I have only two pieces of advice, do NOT do it at night unless you have a GREAT LIGHT and start with something no larger than 12 by 12 inches.
Thanks for visiting and get creating!
Love from Di XXX PS A big Hi from Caz!! I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the newest member of the Creative World team.......the very lovely JOANNE!! Joanne is a true inspiration to us all! She has a knack of finding the most interesting products to introduce to scrapping and altering. She has a style unto her own, that is a mix of the unusual and fascinating, and it's not only the craft of scrapping that interests Joanne, cross stitch is up high on her creating list. She is a GO-GO- GREETINGS design team member :) and was also part of the very creative team at Scrapbook Magic magazine. We are truely honoured to have Joanne on board and I know she will bring so much motivation and enthusiasm into all our Creative Worlds.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

And the winner is

Please email your address to and we'll pop your voucher in the post

Blackberry picking on a Sunday!

blackberry-1 It's that time of year, just as the first signs of Autumn start to show, and the children go back to school for the new term, and the hedgerows are heavy with an abundance of blackberries. We went blackberry picking on Friday, a lovely way to round off the school holidays, and had no difficulty in filling our tupperware container. One of my many jobs for today, therefore, is to turn these shiny black berries into something delicious! With this in mind, I have trawled the internet for some suitable recipes, and I thought I'd share them with you. The first one is a super Bramley apple and blackberry crumble - I LOVE crumble, and I think that of all the things you can do with a blackberry, it's probably one of the best!! The recipe is here on the BBC food site. Also from the BBC site, recipes for blackberry and lemon fool, pear and blackberry upsidedown pudding, and blackberry brulee. From the rather delicious-sounding blackberry chocolate chip pie, blackberry cobbler, and blackberry and blueberry pie. And finally, from the UKTVFood site, blackberry swirl cheesecake, vanilla and blackberry tart, and delightful mini pavlovas. So, if the weather's fine where you are, why not have a little meander out into the sunshine, and plunder the hedgerows! I'm off into the kitchen to cook up some treats with this little lot! Happy Sunday! blackberry-2

The final countdown

Yes, sadly, our summer campaign to get our children creating draws to a close. Mind you it possibly lasted longer than the summer.
It's Maria here feeling rather sad that this is the last time I will be sharing any masterpieces with you. But, rest assured that we'll back with something else for the little ones soon.
Anyhoo, these are our final works of art for your delectation.
Firstly, we have a fabulous sticker folder by Tatiana. Tatiana is 8 and lives in Buenos Aires.
We have *Handprints* by Callum age 2

We have *Thunder* by Harvey age 2

For our last masterpiece I need to direct you to Richard's blog. Richard is 11 and home educated. Click on *enjoy* to view his summer project.

The winner of the £20.00 voucher will be announced later on today. I just need to track down a photogenic child to do it for us ........ Just kidding Charlotte and Amelia!!!

The girls here at It's a creative world really hope that you have enjoyed our creative children campaign.

Toodle pip