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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.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Easter cards in the bag ... on to the next project!

Good evening everyone

Well, we went to the Hobbycrafts show at the NEC and had quite a successful time of it. I managed to get my hands on one of the new Fiskars Squeeze Punches - the small scalloped heart. I'd seen it featured on Kath Stewart's blog a little while ago and thought it would be a very useful and versatile punch to have, and so on Friday that was one of the first stands I went to! I've used it on a little project today - another of my mini books. I've used it as a heart today but will definitely be using it to produce flowers and various other decorative things in the coming months, and of course it will be fab to use next Valentine's!

I also learnt about new ways to use embossing powders at the WOW! stand and can't wait to give them a go!

So, I got my Easter cards finished, have a few in the lovely shop where I exhibit and sell my work and have also achieved a sale to my longstanding customer who started buying my cards two years ago, so I'm really pleased. The run up to Mother's Day was pretty good for me at the shop so I'm hoping I might achieve a few sales in the run up to Easter too, but of course there are no guarantees in this life.

Next on the agenda? A new range of cards for lots of different occasions, I have some altered art projects to get underway and a few ideas to play with for expanding my product range. Watch this space!

All for now,
love from me xx

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Technology issues sorted!

Hello again

My technology issues have been addressed and resolved so I can now give you a bit of a peek at my Easter/Spring cards. I went to the GNPE last weekend and enjoyed it but didn't find many real bargains I have to say, but that's where I picked up many of the stamps I've been using this week. Still deciding whether to go to the NEC but it's so expensive for admission plus parking - tricky! Come back soon to find out whether we pushed the boat out for the big one or not!

TTFN, love from me xx

Small card using Woodware daffodil stamp coloured with Promarkers, Craftwork Cards sentiment band and sentiment and inked with chalk ink

6 inch card using a Penny Johnson stamp, coloured with Promarkers, inked with chalk ink and using some Craftwork Cards papers, embellishments and sentiment

Time flies!

Hello everyone

I can't believe how quickly this year is marching in - apologies for the pun there! But seriously, we're more than half way through March already and I barely had time to catch my breath after getting some Mother's Day cards in the bag before I had to start on the Easter ones!

So, mixed results on sales of Mother's Day cards with quite a few sold in the week before Mothering Sunday, along with two of my decorated mini note books, but then only one card on the day before - how bizarre! Seems most people were focused on last minute pressies rather than cards so I missed out there with only my little mini note books to offer in the gift department. Rest assured my thinking cap is well and truly on whilst I try to come up with ideas for more gifty things to make and supply to the lovely shop The Emporium.

And so on to Easter. I don't know about you but I find this one quite tricky, since you either have crucifix designs or chicks, bunnies and chocolate eggs, or flowers. Also, I don't particularly like wordy cards, and there seemed to be a lot of wordy stamps out there. So whereas you might say that sounds like lots to choose from, actually it isn't really, especially if like me you're not sure whether any of your punters go for the cute and cuddly factor or whether they're more inclined towards the religious side of it all. So, I plumped for flowers, chicks and bunnies, and of course eggs, completely side-stepping wordy and religious and I'll find out soon enough whether that was the right decision! I can't show you any photos as they're all on my little netbook and I don't know how to get them on to here (here being a full-size laptop). Why are they all on my little netbook you may ask. Ah well, that's another story entirely but to just give a very brief explanation, the power on this laptop is on, off, on, off all the time - a dry connection I've been told - and probably can't be cured, and it was driving me batty like a fluorescent strip light on its way out, so I had to move onto a little netbook which we bought to take with us to Australia a few years ago. Unfortunately it's not up-to-date technology-wise and I can't yet do my blog posts on it .... need to get hubby on that little issue. So for now, just blah, blah, blah and no pretty pictures - sorry!

Still, to give you at least a vague idea of what I plumped for, the stamps I used were from Penny Black ("Sparklers" and "Fireworks"), Lili of the Valley (for the cute and cuddly bunnies element), Woodware (daffodil and tulips), Kaiser Craft (butterfly), Penny Johnson (an Easter Chick one), circadesign (Easter eggs trio), Craftwork Cards (sentiments) and Hobby Arts (small grasses), so a good mixture.

Oh, and I also decided to do some more general spring themed cards rather than entirely Easter, hence the Penny Black, Kaiser Craft and Hobby Arts stamps coming into play. I'll probably do some more of the daffodil and tulip ones for this general spring theme too, in different colour schemes and using different techniques. Anyway, I think I've got a pretty good mix and obviously I'm hoping I'll sell a few, if not lots ... watch this space.

Right, time to get breakfast sorted then back to the craft room to get some more cards done and dusted.

Take care and see you all soon.

Love me xx

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

A few new designs

Hello all

Just a quick post to share some recent and new designs. Facebook can't publish new photos or descriptions at the moment for some reason so I'm doing this post so that my Facebook followers can see my latest designs while Facebook sorts itself out!

So this first one is a Mother's Day card which is available direct from me if anyone's interested. It measures approx. 6 inches square.

    I am delighted to report that the card below has actually just been sold this morning!

I think I've posted this design previously, but it's in the album on Facebook so thought I should include it. It's still available if anyone's interested.

This next card is covered with a lovely linen finish floral paper to which I've added two pretty wooden butterflies.

                    This lovely pale pink floral card has been sold this morning too!

This next pretty design is inked in green and yellow and I've added a hand coloured centre piece of flowers in a row. I've glossed some parts of the flowers and the leaves. The centrepiece is inked and glittered around the edges and I've added some yellow and white twine trim. The card is finished with two lovely butterflies.

This last card is a beige pearlescent card to which I've added a centrepiece featuring stamped grasses and tiny butterflies punched out of some pretty linen finish paper. I've added little dots of glitter to the grasses and two larger butterflies in the same lovely linen texture paper as the tiny ones.

I'm sure there's another card in that album but I can't for the life of me remember which one it is and I can't even get the page to launch properly on Facebook at the moment to check!

Anyway, if anyone is interested in buying any of these cards, please drop me an email for details.

Take care all,
love from me xx

Sunday, 11 March 2012

As promised ....

Hello again everyone

Well, what a beautiful day it is today. Glorious sunshine and a balmy 15 degrees. Perhaps spring is here. My family and I made the most of the lovely weather this morning and went for a long lazy walk at our local park and it seemed many others had the same idea as the park was the busiest I've seen it in a long time.

Anyway, as promised, below are photos of the two cards made recently. Hope you like them!

All for now, love from me xx

Saturday, 10 March 2012

It's been a while ....

Hi folks!

It's been a while since my last post. This is for several reasons, not least of which has been the fact that I've hardly had a chance to do anything crafty as all the other aspects of my life have taken priority in the last week. It's been a bizarre mix of hectic, so-much-to-do-not-sure-where-to-start kind of days, as well as teaching my ever more rebellious son (only 'cos he just wants to play all the time like a mischievous puppy) and then at other times finding I am either too tired to even lift a finger or I just don't want to be bothered doing the chores and wish I could wave a magic wand so it would all do itself! Ah well, sadly I have no magic wand - such is life. AND I still haven't won the lottery - not even a snifter of a win, not even a tenner! Life can be so disappointing sometimes.

Today we decided to build the new chest of drawers we purchased for our son earlier in the week and, typically, it turned into a mammoth job punctuated only by the necessity to have some lunch and a visit from my Dad, as we not only put the new drawers together but totally reorganised our own storage arrangements, packing the winter coats away until November (since I'm fairly confident that the worst of the cold weather is well and truly behind us - you watch, it will probably snow and be minus 10 next month now!) and had a general tidy up, so what should have been a one hour job ended up being more like four hours! But isn't that always the way?

I did manage to get a couple of cards made and I'm rather pleased with the finished products. They're both very simple but I think that sometimes works better than doing complicated, busy designs. (And I don't have the luxury of lots of spare hours to sit and devise elaborate designs anyway.) Pictures will follow in a few days as one of them is a birthday card for my hubby so I don't want to spoil the surprise!

The first of my mini note books sold last weekend and I did manage to get a few more of those covered and put together and they are now in-situ in the lovely shop where I sell my wares. Fingers crossed they will sell well, especially in the run up to Mother's Day. Then Easter will be upon us so I need to get cracking with my designs for that, and after that I will be starting to focus on my designs for Christmas 2012 - yes, I do start thinking about it in May and will begin work in June. It's the only way I can get it all done with so little spare time!

So that's me, busy as ever, constantly tired, but quietly satisfied with what I've managed to achieve.

Take care and see you soon.

Love from me xx

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The cards we made for Auntie/Sister (in-law)

Just another quick one to show you the cards my son and I made for an Auntie/Sister (in-law) last week. My son's card (the one covered with butterflies) is, again, beautiful and his Auntie loved it. I was fairly pleased with the one I made but my colouring didn't work out quite right and after I'd used the heat tool to emboss the design I spotted a black speck to the right of the second vase which I hadn't even noticed before applying the heat, and trying to remove it only made it worse, so I was a bit annoyed about that but I didn't have time to do another one! Ah well, can't be perfect all the time!

Bye! xx

Woohoo! My mini books are selling already!

Hi folks!

Hope you've all had a good few days; for me it's been very busy.

I've transformed some cards which I made some time ago and which were lacking something (well, I had only been making cards for a few months when I made them) and got some of my lovely mini note books covered, inked, glittered, etc, and in at The Emporium in Draycott. I bought the basic books (chipboard covers and pages) from Craftwork Cards quite some time ago and they'd been sitting forgotten in a drawer, until a couple of weeks ago, when I had a bit of a light bulb moment and decided to have a go at doing something with them! So I set to work on my latest project, came up with a few ideas, and hey presto! Five lovely little mini note books went to The Emporium late yesterday afternoon (just before closing) and one of them has sold today! It's the first design I created and I inked and embossed the hearts which gave them a lovely finish - you can see it below. You can imagine how pleased I am right now to have sold one straight away! And today I've managed to get one made and am half way through completing another. Hubby and I have decided to make use of our Pazzles machine and create some more, so they will be entirely my own creations. I can't wait to get started and the possibilities for different shapes and sizes are only limited by our imagination! What's more, the Pazzles machine has been languishing on the desk for months now and only got used very briefly in the run up to Christmas to make some Christmas Trees out of cardstock, so it's high time it started to earn its keep!

So that pretty well sums it up.

Have a good weekend everyone. More crafty news soon!

Bye for now,
love from me xx