A die-cut card-making session

I recently received more cutting dies that I had ordered and, still being excited by a new hobby, I decided I wanted to test some of them out. That led to a bit of a card-making session, some of which have already been sent off as birthday cards for Post Pals children. Others haven’t found a use yet. Here they are:

The princess castle isn’t stuck on straight. Grr! Unfortunately the glue had set before I realised. Also, I coloured in the flags but I’m not sure whether it would have been better to just leave them as they were. Oh well. That one has already gone off to a girl who, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, is turning 7.

I absolutely love the balloon jar and am already imagining other things I could put inside a jar. I’m not sure about the positioning of the writing though. I still have that card currently, but I’m sure I’ll find a use for it soon.

You might recognise the Happy Birthday shape and the felt butterflies from this card. The frame die cut is new. I quite like how this turned out. It’s simple, but I think it’s pretty. I still have that one at present but I think I know who’s going to get it.

Finally, for the football card, I die cut the shape twice, once in white and once in black, then used the black “negative” pieces to fill in the white outline, resulting in an inverted football. I’m not sure why I did it that way round first? I still have the black outline and white pieces so I can make a normal football. A lot of the Post Pals boys like football so I have a feeling this die will be getting quite a bit of use! The little footballs are stickers and the sentiment came free with a magazine. That card is already on its way to a Post Pal’s sibling.

I cut out a few other shapes, including a giraffe and some unicorns, but I haven’t done anything with them yet. Perhaps you’ll see them on a future card.

I think I’m going to need some more practice before I learn the most effective way to use die cuts on my cards! Not that these ones are bad necessarily, but I feel like I could make much better use of the shapes. Any die-cutting experts want to weight in with advice? I’m all ears (well, eyes… you know what I mean).

What do you think of these cards? Not bad for a die-cutting beginner, right?

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Card, sweet card

It’s very rare that I make a card that doesn’t involve any cross stitch whatsoever, mostly because I feel like my plain old hand made cards just aren’t as good. I’m not all that talented at card making, so I tend to let an awesome cross-stitched picture do most of the talking. But occasionally I will be struck by inspiration, or I’ll want to make someone a hand-made card but just won’t have the time to stitch something to go on it.

In this case, it was a bit of both. Loads of Post Pals and siblings have their birthdays this month, and there just isn’t going to be time to stitch a card for all of them (especially since I should really have stitched at least a few designs for Christmas cards by now!). With the sixteenth birthday of one of the pals coming up, I knew I wanted to do something with sweet sixteen. Then I remembered some buttons I had that looked just like the tops of lollipops. And so this sweet card was born…

pink sixteenth birthday card

Usually when I make cards they don’t turn out the way I imagined them, but this time I’m actually quite proud of what I came up with!

In case you’re wondering, no I’m not that good at writing… the “Sweet” was made using a stencil and “Sixteen” involved a printer, tracing paper and more luck than skill 😉

If you want more card-making inspiration, check out this one Kezzie made by recycling one element of a different card. Very clever (and good for the environment too!).

35 Before 35: Progress report 7

A blog post two days in a row? What is this madness? I hear you cry! Well, it’s exactly a month until my 34th birthday (HELP!) so I thought I’d better check what progress I’ve made on my 35 before 35 list since my last check in – which was in January, apparently.

Number 13:  Read (or re-read) 50 non-fiction books

I was up to 18 last time, and now I’m on a grand total of…. *drum roll* … 19. Yeah. I read A Sense of Style by Steve Pinker. I reviewed it yesterday.

Number 15: Read 30 books in German

Last time I was up to 22, and now I’m on 24. So a whole 2 for this category.  Die Stille Braut by Barbara Wenken (okay) and Märchenwald by Martin Krist (really good!).

Number 21: Read all the books from the BBC Big Read that I hadn’t before starting this challenge

I’d read 46 last time and now I’m on 56! Finally some real progress. I’m not going to list them all, so you can see all the Big Read books I’ve read here. I have 67 left to read… theoretically it’s possible, as long as I stop reading everything else!

Number 30: Learn to crochet or knit (or both)

I haven’t written a post on it yet, but I did loom knit a bunch of tiny hats (too small for even a newborn, but recognisable as hats) and one and a half socks for myself. Loom knitting isn’t exactly knitting, but the items are made of wool and look knitted so I’ve decided it can count.

Number 31. Watch 35 films I’ve never seen before

I had made it to 29 last time… and now I’m finished! I’ve actually managed to watch all six of the films I still needed this year. I completed this item by watching Kajaki. You can see what else I’ve watched here.

Number 34: Drink champagne in Champagne.

Woohoo! I actually did this. Thank you Germany and your ridiculous amount of public holidays in the spring! I wrote about it here.

So, I have made some progress on the reading front, discovered a new hobby in loom knitting (because I totally need even more sedentary hobbies with the way the scales are looking!), crossed off one more travel item and actually managed to watch films for a change. With one year and one month to go, I obviously won’t manage everything (especially not all the travel-related items) but hopefully I will at least get all the reading crossed off. Wish me luck!

In which I attempt to do something different with my cross stitch

Some time around November last year it suddenly occurred to me that I could branch out from card making and use little cross stitch designs to make brooches. So I bought some brooch backs from the Internet and promptly became so busy with Christmas cards that the idea of making anything else went completely out of my head. At the weekend, I rediscovered the brooch backs and decided to give it a go…

From a distance it looks alright (particularly if the photo is nice and blurry… sorry about that). I pinned it on a cushion for the second photo to get an idea of what it would look like in use.

How about a close up?

daisy-brooch3

Hmm. The sharp-eyed among you may notice my not really even stitching and the badly cut edges of the Aida (the fabric the pattern is cross stitched on).

Turn over…

  1. The brooch back thing was supposed to be in the middle. Why isn’t it in the middle?
  2. The stitching on the little strip of felt that’s covering the brooch back is awful! Note to self: stitch that little strip on before sewing the two bits of felt together.
  3. The sharp-eyed among you may notice that the strip of felt isn’t even covering all of the stitching that’s holding the brooch back on, thus completely defeating its purpose.

Apart from all that, it’s not bad for a first attempt 😉

Now I just have eleventy million brooch backs to somehow use up. (Well, 99 anyway…)

Christmas cards 2016

A few weeks ago I shared a bit of this year’s Christmas stitching with you. Now that I’ve made a few cards, I thought you might want to see what came of some of those designs, plus a few more that I’ve stitched since then. Obviously I couldn’t take all the photos in the same place, because that would be too professional or something?! (Insert eye rolling smiley here)

Any favourites here? Personally I like the “Santa stop here” one, because although it’s simple it’s effective. And I think the JOY one came out well too.

Apologies for the quality of the photos. One day I will figure out how to take good pictures of cross stitch!

 

A good idea…

Over the past few months, I have taken part in two separate tea exchanges through the International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club (If you’re not sure what the IGGPPC is, read this post). Although, when I say “exchange” what I actually mean is I sent out tea twice and only actually received any from my second partner… but anyway, I digress.

Obviously I couldn’t just stick some tea in an envelope with a brief note and call it a day, so the cross stitch threads came out. Here’s what I came up with:

The first one I designed myself (if you can even use the word “design” for something that’s mostly text), the second was adapted from a book.

Tea and cross stitch… two of my favourite things!

And in case you were wondering, for the exchange where I actually got something back I received a green energy tea and a Greek senna tea, both of which I’m yet to try.

Christmas stitching 2016

I should really do another travel post to try and catch up, but the thought of sorting out all those photos just makes me feel tired, so instead here is some of the Christmas stitching I’ve done so far this year. All of these will be made into cards.

Do you have any favourites among these? Personally I love the snowman most, although I do also like the bauble in the “JOY”.

Now I just have to make sure none of the people who occasionally read this blog receive the pictures featured here 😉