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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 July 2012

Recipe cards

Hello everyone

Well, I've been watching the Olympics on and off over the last few days and am not at this stage feeling very excited about our team's achievements, although two silver and two bronze medals is certainly better than a kick in the teeth and we have to remember that these sports men and women are the BEST IN THE WORLD! Everyone is working so hard and putting 110% into everything, but we have some very strong opposition so our team definitely have their work cut out for them. Stick at it Team GB, we know you can do it!

And what's going on with the weather? I think summer is over maybe, and we're now heading into autumn. What do you think? It's been a dreary old day today with rain and drizzle and the sun never really managed to break through all of that grey cloud. Perhaps it's just a glitch and summer will return again in the next few days. Fingers crossed.

So, in terms of crafting, with the Olympics happening I haven't done much in my craft room, although I did finish an order for a customer, so that was good. I can share with you some cards I made recently for Craftwork Cards for a set of their Recipe Cards which feature on QVC. I made six cards, all to the same sketch, and I have been given to understand that all six of my cards feature in the third set of recipe cards, although I haven't yet received my set to be able to verify this and see for myself how they look!

So, here for you, are the six cards "in the flesh". Enjoy!

The first two are "beginner" level.

All green with Warren holding a lucky horse shoe - perfect for a good luck card!
A pretty little card with Warren holding a huge bunch of flowers for a fabulous friend
The next two are the "intermediate" level cards I made.

Perfect for a birthday or Father's Day
That party food looks delicious - glitter glue and glossy accents make the frosting and jelly look so yummy!

These last two are the "advanced" cards I made.

An 8-inch twisted easel card with lots of handmade flowers
Easel card with more handmade flowers

View from the front - loving that red, white and blue colour combo - and this is perfect for celebrating success at the Olympics - maybe that gold Candi will help us achieve our first gold medal soon!
Hope you liked those.

Thanks for visiting. Take care and see you all again soon.

Love from me xx

Friday, 27 July 2012

This and that

Hello everyone

Well, what a scorcher this week has been. Such a contrast to the previous week when we had torrential rain and temperatures just about in double figures! It's been too hot for me so I've really struggled this week. But, regardless of the challenging conditions, I have made a couple of bits which I'd like to share with you.

This is a lovely little wreath made using Craftwork Cards latest kit - Candy Cane Wreath. The colours are beautiful and the flowers gorgeous, and I'm very pleased with how the whole thing came together. And, I even had a few bits of flowers left over so I made a pretty little gift tag too!

Look how beautiful this is! I'm so pleased with it! I used Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Festive Berries and Iced Spruce to ink the chipboard wreath "base" and the colours tie in brilliantly with the flower colours. I also used the Iced Spruce DI for the backs of the flowers and bits around the edges of the petals. I finished it by giving it a coat of lacquer and a liberal sprinkling of ultra fine glitter.

Hopefully you can see from the close-ups how pretty, dimensional and sparkly those flowers are.
And this is the pretty gift tag I made with the "leftovers" and some Very Berry Candi. I decided to keep the die cut scallop circle white because I felt it really showed off the flowers.

In other news, my desk got a well overdue tidy, which was triggered by my wonderful hubby fitting a couple of shelves for me so that I could de-clutter a bit. I posted photos of the disaster area that was my workspace a few weeks ago on Facebook, but I can't find them now, so all you have here is the "after the tidy" pictures. Let's just say that prior to this big tidy and the shelves going up, I could probably only see about an eight inch strip of my desk! So I don't need to tell you how fab it is to now have my working space back (well, more or less!).

Look how much space I now have on my desk!

I had some sad news recently, my lovely Uncle has died from bowel cancer. He took ill only a few weeks ago. He always had a sense of fun and a twinkle in his eye. He will be missed by all who knew him and my thoughts are with his wife, children and grandchildren at this sad and difficult time.

And finally, to end on a cheery note, I have a beautiful new display/sales area at The Emporium in Draycott where I sell some of my wares, AND, I'm going to be running some workshops there later in the year - yikes! Wish me luck!

That's all from me, the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London is about to take place. Go Team GB! Let's hope for a successful games.

Bye for now,
love from me xx

Friday, 20 July 2012

Pretty Little Prints makes

Hello people of Blogland! I hope you're all fit and well?

And how many of you are enjoying a glimmer of sunshine today I wonder? It's rather grey here - again. We had heavy rain early this morning and it's now only just beginning to brighten up a bit. I have to say it's feeling very autumnal these days, and I even heard a robin making the kind of "chit chit" sounds I only normally hear in autumn and winter. So is that it do you think, is summer over (such as it was)? Wasn't much of one was it? Perhaps we'll have a late heatwave to make the school hols pleasant for all the kiddiwinks out there - I really hope it improves so we can all get out and about more.

But less of this prattling on about the weather!

I haven't had much crafty time to myself in the last week or so but I do have a couple of bits to show you.

First up is a Craftwork Cards cupcake shaped mini book which I covered with their latest paper range, Pretty Little Prints. I love the simplicity of this design and think the retro flower is the perfect finishing touch! The flower centre is an upside down Candi with a pearl in the centre. The back is decorated in the same way but I haven't put the flower on the reverse otherwise it wouldn't sit flat when being used. I used some very thin ric rac to represent the edge of the cupcake case and used a matching coloured ring.

Next is a little tag. This was made using an ordinary manilla tag. I cut a strip of the roses paper and fixed this so that some of the manilla tag showed on both sides and the end. I then cut some little butterflies from one of the sheets of embossed cardstock and the flowers from the pearlescent papers which came with one of the Privilege Club kits. I dusted the flowers with a little Pixie Dust Chalk ink to reveal the lovely embossed design. Fixed the butterflies and flowers to the tag and added some little sparkly gems and some tiny ric rac.
So that's all I have to share with you today. Both very simple, but very pretty.

Hope you all have a good weekend and I'll be back soon.

Love from me xx

Monday, 16 July 2012

more Design Team Pretty Little Prints cards

Hi folks

Just a quick one from me tonight to share with you the other cards I made for Craftwork Cards recently to help promote their new Pretty Little Prints range. I was thrilled to see most of my cards on the Craftwork Cards stand at the Summer Crafting show in Doncaster at the weekend and I hope they helped provide inspiration to customers considering buying the lovely products on offer there.

This was the first card I made with the new range and it's still my favourite! The butterflies were cut from some of the embossed paper and coloured using Memento Rose Bud ink. The number is one of Craftwork Cards chipboard numbers covered with the striped paper, which I love!

I cut the front of the card in half vertically and then fixed the inked embossed frame so that it sat evenly over the left and right sides of the card when closed. The butterflies were made by stamping them in a dark plum ink onto the reverse of the pink floral paper and cutting them out, so the ink stamped side looks like the darker underneath of a butterfly's wings. The flowers were cut by hand after using a Craftwork Cards Retro Bloom as a template.

Another view to see more of the "front"

Great for a male birthday! I deliberately placed the two orange squares on the left and the two blue ones on the right because I wanted to wrap twine around one blue square and mail tag thread around one orange square, (inked with the same blue as the two blue squares), and I didn't want the two "twined" squares next to eachother or on the same side of the card! I also distressed the squares a little after inking them by running an emery board lightly over them to reveal the white core.

I used various colours of VersaMagic Chalk ink for the embossed strips and frame. I love how the inks bring out the patterns in the embossed papers.

These butterflies were punched from the striped paper using a Martha Stewart All-over-the-page Classic Butterfly punch. I also punched out some tiny daisies from the scraps left over - never throw away those little scraps of papers!
OK, that's all from me for today. I'll be back later in the week but in the meantime, enjoy your crafting, take care and see you soon.

Love from me xx

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A photo frame and a card

Hello all

Well, we've had a much needed break from all the rain today and had lots of very pleasant sunshine for most of the day. It's felt cooler and there's been quite a breeze, but I'm not complaining! I know some of you are still having terrible problems with heavy rainfall so I hope you too get a break from it soon.

I have two makes to share with you today. One is a photo frame which I made yesterday and the other is a card which I made this afternoon.

So, the photo frame started life as a chipboard scalloped circle which was actually one of the covers from a larger size chipboard mini note book which I bought in the Craftwork Cards sale recently. I drew around one of my rolls of double sided tape to get a reasonable sized centre aperture and then cut this out.

The next step was to cover the rest of it with pretty paper on both sides. This was, as you can imagine, a bit fiddly because of having to cut carefully around each of the scallops. I am so glad I have a pair of scissors with curved blades for this job (which I "borrowed" from a manicure set a couple of years ago and never returned!). I of course also had to cut the centre out again - twice! I inked around all of the cut edges with DI Victorian Velvet on both sides, and then went around all the scallops with Stardust Glitter Glue too, again on both sides.

I cut a piece of heavy duty acetate to the correct size to cover the aperture and fixed this in place on the reverse side of the frame with Glossy Accents. Then I cut three 1cm wide strips of chipboard to create a bit of a framework for the back to be fixed on to, which would leave a gap of about 2 or 3mm to slide a photo into place behind the acetate. I fixed these in place on three sides of the acetate, leaving the opening at the top. I had inked these with DI Victorian Velvet to take the cardboard look off them so they blended better with the rest of the frame. Then I cut a piece of chipboard large enough to cover the aperture and fit neatly over the "framework" and covered this on one side with another paper before fixing it in place, again with Glossy Accents. So that was the back done.

I punched two holes at the top of the frame, reinforced them with eyelets and threaded pink and brown ribbon through, which I twisted a bit and knotted on the back.

Then I cut four little butterflies out of some of the same paper that I used for the back of the aperture ready to fix onto the front of the frame. I had a larger 4-layered flower left over from when I made the horseshoe and wedding card a few days ago, and to go with this I made 3 smaller 3-layer flowers, which I gave the lacquer and glitter treatment in the same way as I'd done previously. I placed the large flower on the left of the frame and the 3 smaller ones in a cluster on the right, and arranged the four butterflies, folded their wings up and fixed everything in place, again with Glossy Accents. And that was it, job finished.

I'm very pleased with how it turned out and just need to find the right photo to go in it now!

This would work equally well as a mirror!

Now onto my card. This is an 8 inch "flat" card. I started off with a large scalloped circle of white card, which was actually one of the pages from the mini note book mentioned above. I covered this on one side with one of the new Craftwork Cards Pretty Little Prints papers, carefully cutting around all of the scallops, which took an age to do. This is where half my time goes when I'm making things, because 9 times out of 10 I seem to end up with lots of fiddly shapes to cut round! Anyway, after cutting around them, I inked all of the scalloped edges with DI Shaded Lilac and then also went around them all with Stardust Glitter Glue, which actually ended up looking slightly pink, but that's ok as it works fine with the rest of the card! Onto this I fixed an embossed frame using foam pads. I chose a Warren All Occasions image and used some Stardust Glitter Glue to highlight the pattern on the hot air balloon, Warren's fur and the little bird. I drew around a scalloped circle onto the pink floral Pretty Little Patterns paper and cut this out carefully and fixed Warren to this once the glitter glue was dry. I also added glitter glue around all of the scallops on this smaller scallop circle.

Once the glitter was dry I fixed this piece in place, again using foam pads, on the top half of the embossed frame in order to leave some of the paper in the centre section showing. I chose a sentiment, inked around the edges with DI Shaded Lilac and fixed this in place across the bottom corner of the embossed frame, again using foam pads.

So, I had my design all done, now I just needed to find a card to fix it to! I discovered I had no white 8 inch straight edged cards left (note to self: place an order with Craftwork Cards pronto!), so I tried it on a scalloped edged card, but this didn't work because all the scallops clashed with eachother and I couldn't get anything to line up in a way I was happy with. So I searched through my other 8 inch card blanks and found a pale pink pearlescent one. At first I was concerned that the colour wasn't right as it's much lighter than the pink on the Warren image and the floral patterned paper, but having placed the front piece on and left it there for a while, going away and coming back to look at it twice, I decided that actually it worked ok, so I fixed the front piece in place! I finished off by using some Moorish Candi in the four corners of the card.

Various elements in this card make were a challenge for me, not least of all trying to get everything lined up, central at all points so even on both sides and top and bottom (and I didn't get it quite right in a couple of places), and I didn't want to put any flowers on this card as I do with so many of my designs, simply because I wanted a change!

Overall I am happy with the way this card turned out, and I hope you like it too.

Phew! That was a long post.

Right, time to go, so thanks for visiting, please do leave a comment as I love reading them, and I'll see you all soon.

Take care, love from me xx

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Two of my 7 design team cards using Pretty Little Prints

Morning everyone

It's another grey, dreary day here but at least at the moment it isn't raining. We had the most torrential downpour late last night, which came and went for about an hour, and when it came, boy did we know about it, the rain was hammering down on the roof and pouring waterfall style over the front guttering again. The raindrops must have been enormous for the amount of noise they were making as they landed - huge beautiful wet splats similar to some we had on Saturday!

Anyway, enough of this weather talk, time for some craft talk!

I am at long last able to share two of my seven cards with you that I made for Craftwork Cards using their latest range, Pretty Little Prints, because they feature on the Craftwork Cards blog today. I didn't want to show them before Craftwork Cards had done - didn't seem fair somehow.

So, this first one is an 8 inch "flat" card. I used some lovely orange cardstock and fixed one of the beautiful embossed frames to it. I cut lots of flowers and leaves from some of the papers, scored, folded and shaped them. I fixed the smaller embossed frame on foam pads offset to the left and added the sentiment to the centre. Finally I positioned all the flowers and leaves and fixed them all in place, finishing with Candi and pearls.

The second card is an 8 inch twisted easel card. I used two different sized embossed frames and then the embossed centre piece from the sheet of frames for the centre. I punched butterflies from a sheet of embossed cardstock and hand cut flowers from more of the same and used a green chalk ink to highlight the embossed design. I fixed all of these in place, after covering the front with one of the Pretty Little Prints papers and then adding the embossed frames. The base of the card was partially covered with more embossed cardstock and I arranged a lightly inked message band and sentiment (which was fixed with foam pads), more hand cut flowers and Candi, using Candi as the easel stopper. I had applied a light covering of chalk ink to the base embossed design and the same on the frames on the front before adding all of the embellishments. I finished by adding a little green pearl to the body of each butterfly.

Close-up view of the front
The base of the card
A close-up view to see the inked embossing
I hope you like these two cards and I should be able to share the others with you within the next few days.

Thanks to everyone who visits my blog and leaves such lovely comments on my work. I read every comment and appreciate them all.

Until next time, bye for now.
Love from me xx

Monday, 9 July 2012

Horse Shoe - again! (See full post below for more!)

Hi again!

Just checked that blog post and it seems one of the photos isn't enlarging when I click on it, so in case everyone else has the same problem, here's the photo again and fingers crossed it works this time!
Byeee! xx

Pretty Little Prints Horseshoe and Wedding Card

Hello everyone

Well, what a weekend, with the British F1 Grand Prix and the Wimbledon Men's Singles Final - great entertainment.

But, time romps on and it's Monday all too soon.

So, in yesterday's post I said I'd share some crafty pics with you, so not to break my promise, here they are! Towards the end of last week I made a beautiful horseshoe and matching wedding card using Craftwork Cards latest range, Pretty Little Prints, together with some embossed papers and frames, and some of my stash of flowers previously purchased from them.
So, this was my template - a rusting shire horse shoe! We found it in our garden when we moved here almost two years ago and it had remained in the garden ever since, as there is no way we would throw anything so lucky away! It still had one tack left in it too! So, I drew around this onto some chipboard to get my authentic horse shoe shape, then I cut it out and covered it with Pretty Little Prints papers on both sides. I marked up roughly where the holes would be if it was a real horse shoe and punched them through using my Crop-a-dile. Next I set about creating some beautiful multi-layer dimensional flowers to go on the front. I chose colours to tie in with the colours on the paper. Some petals I folded down, others up, and once happy with the shapes of the individual layers I stuck them together using silicone glue and fixed one of the designs of Pretty Little Prints Candi to all of the flower centres, in the same design as the paper on the base. While the flowers dried I chose my ribbons, threaded them through a hole at the top on one side, tied a double knot in the back to hold them in place and then twisted them around and around eachother before threading them through the hole on the other side and again tying a double knot on the back to hold them in place. I fixed all the flowers in place and left the whole thing to dry overnight. Then the next day I sprayed with lacquer and sprinkled ultrafine glitter all over the horse shoe to give it some sparkle. I left it to dry for about 20 minutes and then repeated this process, and then did it again one more time. The finished look is sparkly and luxurious and definitely something special for a bride on her wedding day. Well, that's my opinion, but what do you think?
A view of the back

A view of the front - I placed it slightly skewy on the table to photograph but can assure you the bottom flower is in the middle!
A close-up of the big flower at the bottom of the hose shoe - see how sparkly it is?
A closer view of the smaller flowers, part of the horse shoe base and ribbon - again, very sparkly
A side-on close-up view of the large flower to show the petal shapes and dimension achieved
Next I set about making a wedding card to tie in with the horse shoe design. I'd made some extra flowers when making those for the horse shoe, and I used a large one and a smaller one, which I had already lacquered and glittered as with the others. The card has been kept simple. I used a Craftwork Cards Fanciful 8 inch card blank and to this I attached an embossed fanciful frame onto which I'd fixed some of the same paper as used on the horse shoe (fixed on the back to fill the aperture). I cut down one of the message bands to fit the centre, fixed the sentiment "Wedding Wishes" onto this using foam pads, then fixed the two flowers, one at either side. This piece was then fixed to the card base using foam pads.
Another close-up to see the beautiful flower in more detail
I hope you like these designs. I am in love with them and will definitely make more along these lines as I think they're very special - perfect for a very special day. I just need to make nice presentation boxes for them now!

I'll be back soon, but meantime take care and have a great week.

Love from me xx

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Feels like heaven ......

...... British F1 Grand Prix and Wimbledon Men's Singles Final, both on the same day - how fab is that? And add to that the bonus of my lovely son Alex baking some absolutely delicious chocolate chip cupcakes, and that is a heavenly recipe for a fab few hours in my book!

Wow! Did we get some great value competitive performances today, in both sporting events. The Grand Prix had me on the edge of my seat several times with all the vying for positions going on, and what about that poor pit crew all being almost flattened? I think it's safe to say they all had a lucky escape, though I did hear that one crew member was taken off to hospital to be checked over so I hope he's ok. And I really felt sorry for Paul Di Resta when he was out on the first lap due to a puncture - so disheartening. Sadly our boys didn't get podium positions today, but it was still a good race!

And then the tennis! I can honestly say I haven't been so well entertained and enjoyed a tennis match so much in many, many years. Our Andy Murray put absolutely everything, heart and soul, into his game today and I shed tears too at the end, I can tell you. He worked so hard and even though he didn't win, he has my full admiration for his sheer determination, his battling spirit and being able to be so gracious at the end of the match when interviewed by Sue Barker, even though he was heart-broken at his defeat. Well done Andy - as far as I'm concerned you are No.l and I will look forward to being wowed by your on-court performances again next year.

And as if that wasn't enough to make my day feel fabby, my wonderful son made some truly beautiful chocolate chip cupcakes (with a little help from yours truly) - with both white and milk chocolate chips in them (and lots of them - two whole bags in fact!). After all the baking I let him loose with the icing and red, white and blue decorations once they'd cooled (but kept some "plain" too) and below are the pictures. I can tell you they not only look fab, but they taste absolutely delicious. He's an excellent baker and always has been. Well done Alex and thank you for such a yummy Sunday treat. xxxx

My gorgeous boy

Now to decorate these cakes. Icing on, then a liberal sprinkling of blue sugar!
Fab piping technique there
But wait! It's not finished yet!
Now we're talking!
More yumminess!
Wow! Looks almost like a 9-squares card!!!!
I think you'll agree, my son is gorgeous, and those cupcakes really do look fabby and delicious.

Ok folks, that's all from me for today, but pop back tomorrow when I'll share some crafting piccies with you.

Bye for now.
Love from me xx