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by Julie Brooks

Polite notice. All designs are copyright protected. I hope you will be inspired by my designs but please do not copy them. Thank you.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Success!

Hello folks

I hope you've all had a good day today. Mine's been busy again, teaching my son - more English and Maths today as there's so much to cover! Times tables and division - what a nightmare - I'm more and more positive that he has dyscalculia so will have to sit down and read all the stuff I bought on it before Christmas and see if I can find a glimmer of hope for him.

Got a nice fire going which was a bit of a challenge since I'm quite a novice - hubby normally does that, but it's roaring away so I'm now feeling warmer. Also got the bread maker going - ciabatta this time - yum!

And eureka! I finally managed to finish a lovely little card I'd started a good two weeks ago. I love the finished result but what do you think? I've just started using some stamps for my designs and I absolutely love the beach equipment border on this design, to which I added a tiny bit of colour using ordinary pencil crayons, and it ties in beautifully with the little boy in the middle - how determined is he to get to where he's going? Gorgeous!

So, that's me for today and perhaps I'll get a bit more crafty time tomorrow, who knows!
Take care and see you soon,
love me xx

Monday, 30 January 2012

Busy school day today

Good evening everyone

I don't know why Mondays have to come around so quickly, just as you get into the swing of it being the weekend it's all over! Ah well, I suppose too much of a good thing would be bad for us!

So, today has been a busy day for me - how's it been for you?

I had a full on school day with Alex so there was no time for any crafting, but I did take a photo of my desk showing just what a mess it's in right now - need to get it organised so I can actually sit down and make something instead of just lovingly admiring all my new goodies acquired over the weekend!



Perhaps tomorrow will provide a crafty opportunity.

All for now, take care everyone, love from me xx

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Busy doing nothing .....

Hi folks!

Well, it's been a fairly unproductive Sunday for me, unlike some of my fellow bloggers who appear to be working their butts off for various projects and competitions! Difference is, they're all professional, paid designers, and I'm not! So perhaps I'm better off this way, but being employed to do my favourite thing, make cards, sounds quite appealing I have to say!

So, today I've been catching up on what others are up to in the world of card making, as well as learning some new techniques along the way, looking for ideas and inspiration, and just simply enjoying being in the land I love - the land of card craft.

Popped over to one of my favourite shops, The Bottle Kiln at West Hallam, to take a look at their range of cards, and I was very brave and asked the lady behind the counter what the situation was with handmade cards, but alas it's a no go there! Oh well, their loss! I am not deterred in the slightest.

I have come up with some new design concepts which I am hoping to put together in the next week so I'll be back with photos of my new creations very soon .... watch this space.

All for now, so have a good week everyone, wrap up and keep warm, and see you soon.

Love from me xx

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Venturing into the realms of retail sales

Good evening everyone,
Big things happening in my little world of card making!

Today I have made the decision to try selling some of my cards in a retail outlet! My outlet of choice .... The Emporium at Draycott. Am I excited or what! Yes I am, jumping up and down, singing and dancing excited! If you have never visited The Emporium, you must go! They have lots of beautiful things for the home, lots of lovely gift ideas and they support local artists and crafters like me by providing affordable selling space. My lovely cards should be in-situ by next weekend and I'll let you know when they're in place so that you can all go and buy them! You're not allowed to visit them until then!

If you want to check out their website, the address is www.avadoboutique.co.uk and you just click on the link to The Emporium. Their address is The Emporium, Avado Boutique, The Courtyard, Draycott Mill, Draycott, Derby DE72 3NB and they're open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm.

Wish me luck in this new and exciting venture and I'll keep you posted on other things I'm up to asap.

Bye for now,
Love from me x

Friday, 27 January 2012

New Year, new and exciting adventures in the world of card making!

Hello everyone and thanks for taking the time to read my blog.

I'm new to all of this so hope I can write something interesting, amusing and informative which you will enjoy reading! Technology is not my strong point and just to prove it, I had already typed this entry once but didn't think I had to post it before I made some changes to the layout of my blog page, so of course it disappeared and I've had to start all over again! Ah well, good practice for the old typing fingers (I was a secretary in a previous life)!

So, potted history time. I've been designing and making cards for about two years now. It started by accident, as a desire to find something crafty to do with my hands, progressed to "I could make our Christmas cards this year instead of buying them", and has since become pretty much an obsession! I am a hoarder, and have so many papers it's ridiculous, but I love all the designs and colours and have ideas springing up in my mind like fireworks on November 5th when I look at them. If only I could find enough time to really let this creativity flow! It's a challenge that's for sure, as my full time job is teaching my son, who has Asperger's Syndrome, or a degree of autism, and I've been teaching him at home for 3 years now, so that takes up much of my time. But it's very rewarding and I do get some "time off" occasionally, and when that happens I will be found hiding in my studio (back bedroom actually but studio sounds posher!) trying to conjure up some creativity with my extensive stash of card making products!

I think there are too many exclamation marks in here - note to self, stop exclaiming so much! Oh, there I go again, sorry.

Anyway, fast forward to present day, I have successfully sold quite a lot of my cards in the past 18 months and have taken several commissioned orders in the last year. There's a real feeling of satisfaction when I've designed a card and someone buys it - it's a massive compliment and tells me I must be doing something right! My designs have been published on my favourite website, Craftwork Cards.co.uk, and have appeared in Making Cards magazine. This again is a huge compliment, knowing that professional designers also like my designs.

So there we are, a brief history of my card making up to now.

So, what's got me excited today? Embossing! Or, to be precise, heat embossing. Whoever invented this deserves a medal at the very least! What a fantastic way of creating beautiful card designs. I love, love, love it! I'd wanted to try it for ages and bought some embossing powders when I bought my first batch of card making materials more than 2 years ago. They'd sat languishing in a drawer ever since, with the promise of "one day". This Christmas (2011) I was a very lucky lady and received from my husband and son a heat embossing tool - how excited was I? So, today, FINALLY, armed with some stamps, some inks and those embossing powders which no doubt had given up all hope of ever being used, I got experimenting. So much fun and such satisfaction as the powder turned into a beautiful raised shiny line on the card - pure magic! I'm in seventh heaven and can see I'll be doing much more of this in the weeks and months to come! Watch this space for photos of my projects! (I've already made my first card but it's a secret for now so I can't let you see it!)

Well, time to pack up for today and who knows what excitement tomorrow will bring. I hope you'll come back soon to read how I'm getting on and what my latest adventure has been!

Until then, bye, love from me x