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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.

Monday, 27 August 2012

And finally ....

..... here are my last two Naturally Gorgeous designs (for now!)

Hello again everyone

I'm happy to say I'm feeling a little better today and would like to thank Mel for her get well wishes - very much appreciated xx

I've been busy in my craft room all morning, starting to make my Christmas cards - of which I need lots - but have taken a bit of a break to have a huge mug of tea and to write this post. You see, even when I'm mega busy I'm still thinking about all of my bloggy buddies!

So, here are the last two Naturally Gorgeous designs which I made recently for Craftwork Cards, and I hope you like them.

When I saw the new Naturally Gorgeous kit, I new straight away that I wanted to do a long gold dress, off the shoulder. So, I popped along to a local shop which sells fabrics and looked in the remnants bins, like you do! I was delighted to find this dark gold fabric in there. The photo doesn't do it justice really because in real life it has a lovely sheen to it, very opulent. Anyway, I started off by inking the chipboard card blank all over with Black Soot Distress Ink, which in itself looks a bit velvety. Next I painted the chipboard mannequin with Metallic Pewter Chalk Acrylic Paint. I cut my dress shape and, once the mannequin was dry (which didn't take very long) I fixed it in place. I decided to decorate it with some tiny ric rac which I just happened to have in a co-ordinating colour - how I managed that I have no idea! I fixed a flower to the waistband and another low down on the card. The flowers have amber rhinestone centres. I coloured one of the chipboard tickets with my gold metallic Letraset marker and once that was dry, stamped on the word "Fabulous" at an angle. I fixed the dressed mannequin and sentiment in place and finished with six pieces of Candi, again in a co-ordinating colour.

Now this one was one of those where I sort of had a design in my head but I wasn't at all sure how it would work out in practice! So, first I covered the front of the chipboard card blank with some fabric which is deep red with a fab black pattern on it, again from a remnant found in my local fabric shop! I then inked this around the edges using Black Soot Distress Ink. Next I painted my chipboard mannequin using Snowflake white Chalk Acrylic Paint and then added a coat of metallic glaze to give it a slightly less crisp and more sparkly appearance. Once this was dry I added some rhinestones in black and red. Next I took a piece of beautiful Nottingham Lace (found in mother-in-law's ottaman recently) and fixed it across the front of the card, then added the black organza ribbon in the centre of this. Then I made my flowers incorporating a couple of snowflakes to lift the red and black a bit and fixed them in place. I added Candi along the black ribbon and a gold foil on red sentiment which reads "Season's Greetings". I added glitter to the Candi for extra sparkle. Now, originally the white lace had a scalloped edge on both sides, and so it was quite a bit wider, and when I looked at the design in its entirety I felt it was unbalanced because of the thickness of the lace strip. So I decided to cut off the scallops, just leaving the lace with straight edges, which I think works much better. And, waste not want not, I used one of the pieces of scalloped edges to make the scarf for around the mannequin's neck, which really finished it perfectly for me.

So there you go, two more beautiful designs to provide you with inspiration. I hope you like them and as always, please leave a comment as I love to receive them and read every single one.

I'll be back in a few days to show you my first Christmas cards, but in the meantime, take care.

Love from me xx

Sunday, 26 August 2012

more from the Naturally Gorgeous kit

Hi everyone

As I type this I am in bed, unwell with a migraine which will not go away and I know working on here will aggravate it but I wanted to get my blog post done while I have chance as I am going to be extremely busy over the next week and won't get another chance! So, I'm dosed up and making the best of things.

Today I have more of my designs using the Naturally Gorgeous kit from Craftwork Cards to share with you. I hope you like them and I hope I'm not repeating myself from my previous post, but if I am, then I apologise.

This card uses some of the fab paper from the kit as a background to the mannequin and also for her dress (which I think is very Georgio Armani!). The bag is made using two of the chipboard tickets fixed together with foam pads and tiny ric rac for the strap. I've added a strip of paper to the front to tie in with the belt on the dress, and two black gems. The card is inked around the edges to tie in with the paper. The idea behind this card was maybe someone who wants a job in fashion design taking their portfolio along to one of the big fashion houses, but you can put your own take on it.

This card uses a white card blank from the kit, a square of chipboard and then a piece of yummy wafer thin wood laminate which we found in the big workshop in the garden, left behind by the previous occupant - not sure whether what wood it is though! I've inked the card base and chipboard with walnut stain distress ink and then dripped water onto them to create the light splodges you can see. I've then stamped a time pieces image onto the chipboard and laminate layers randomly and then used some copper embossing powder to add another dimension to the design. I've also inked the two chipboard sentiments and embossed them to tie in.

So that's two more of my designs which I hope you like.

As always your comments are appreciated and I love reading them all. One day I'll work out how to get a "reply" function on this blog so that I can reply directly to each and every one of you, but in the meantime just know that I thank you with all my heart for your kind words. They mean so much.

Take care.

Bye for now,
love from me xx

Friday, 24 August 2012

Naturally Gorgeous .....

Morning all

Sorry I haven't posted recently, it's been a busy old couple of weeks but with very little I could share!

However, today I can share with you a couple of cards I made recently for Craftwork Cards using their new Project of the Month kit called Naturally Gorgeous. This kit features chipboard card blanks, mannequins and dresses, and chipboard sentiments and tickets. It also contains some fabby papers. I can tell you I've had fun with this kit!

This first one was made using a 6 x 6 white card blank from the kit, onto which I added a square of chipboard set at an angle, and onto this I added a square of the grey diamond/argyll patterned paper from the kit, again set at an angle. I cut off the bits that were sticking out over the sides of the card.

Next I inked randomly all around the edges of the three layers with Gray Flannel Memento Ink, to which I added Metallic Silver Ultra High Embossing Powder, which I then heated until it had all melted. Then I stamped the time pieces image onto the grey paper using Adirondack Lights in Snow Cap and embossed using True White Embossing Powder. Next I inked randomly around the edges and over the stamped image using a VersaMarker, added some Aged Aqua Embossing Enamel and heated this. I love the mix of silver, gold and greeny blue in this enamel. Finally I inked around the edges of the chipboard sentiment and again embossed using Aged Aqua Embossing Enamel. The sentiment is popped up on foam pads in the centre. And there you have a fab card for a man! The photo doesn't really do it justice, as you just can't fully see the shiny enamel effect and the texture, but I hope you can get at least a sense of what it looks like.

This next one was fun too! I decided to use one of the dresses and dress it up with some beautiful Nottingham Lace which we discovered in Alex's Grandma's ottoman recently. I tell you, that ottoman was like an Aladdin's Cave there were so many beautiful laces and ribbons in there! Before Alex's Grandfather retired he was the MD of a local laces and textiles company, and he would occasionally bring home a roll of lace which was an "end of line", and hence over the years these accumulated into a fab little collection of all sorts of laces and such like. Sadly he passed away almost a year ago, at the grand age of 85 years. It would have been lovely to have heard his stories about all of the different laces in there because I know he would have been able to tell us what every single kind was used for originally, and probably the name of each particular design of lace too. Still, it's lovely that Alex's Grandma wanted to share it all with us and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with some truly beautiful laces made right here in Nottingham.

So, I wrapped pieces of the beautiful scalloped cream floral lace around the dress, fixing each piece on the back, being careful to keep the shape of the dress. I layered up the pieces so that the finished dress had many overlapping layers all with lovely scalloped hemlines. I added a touch of glitter on the tops of the straps and at the point of the neckline to represent sparkling diamonds, then a flower offset at the waist. Next I covered the top half of the card with one of the pretty papers from the kit and used another strip of the beautiful lace as a message band on the base. I inked all around the edges using Pixie Dust chalk ink. I fixed the beautiful lace dress on foam pads to the top of the card. I then created a couple of beautiful blooms and fixed them on the right and added a little glitz using Stickles Star Dust glitter glue. Then I inked around a sentiment and fixed this with foam pads in the centre of the lace message band and this props the card up too! I have slightly altered this card since posting to Craftwork Cards for their blog in that I added the two smaller flowers on the left where originally there was no embellishment.

So, there you go, two of my recent designs, which I hope you like.

I'll be back to share two more in the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, thanks for stopping by, and for your kind comments which I love to read, and take care.

Love from me xx

Friday, 17 August 2012

Been playing!

Hello everyone and thanks for stopping by to read my blog. Your visits are very much appreciated and I value each and every comment I receive.

It's a very short post from me today as I don't actually have much to show you because the project I completed earlier this week is top secret exclusive stuff which I can't reveal for several weeks yet, but I did have a bit of a play today with a few products. Again, I can't share what I made yet but hope to be able to soon.

So, this is some of what I was playing with today. There are several products here which I hadn't used before and it was fun christening them! You can see the new Craftwork Cards Project of the Month kit there, and it is great fun I can tell you, and well worth investing in, so why don't you head over to the Craftwork Cards website and treat yourself!

I'll be popping over to all of your blogs later to see what you've all been up to.

Meantime, take care and have a great weekend.

Love from me xx

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Christmas Warren puts in an appearance, plus Alex's mini Olympic swimming success!

Hi everyone

Well, what a fantastic Olympics Team GB are having. So, so proud of them all. They put 110% into everything and the rewards speak for themselves. We've had a few disappointments along the way, but that does not detract in the slightest from the fact that our team are working really hard for us every day. Go Team GB!

So, in between all the dipping in and out of the action I've made a few bits and pieces. I finished my friend's 25th wedding anniversary card order, played around a bit with some Fran-tage ingredients and made some pretty gift tags. I also took inspiration from the lovely Emma Williams' recent Craftwork Cards Christmas card designs, in particular her beautiful box frame card, and I made two box frame pictures. My son loves Warren, and Christmas, so put the two together and it's always a recipe for success in his eyes, so these two pictures are for my gorgeous Alex, with all my love, and will be hanging somewhere (probably in his bedroom) at Christmastime.

The frame in this one was inked up using Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Festive Berries.

And, finally, I just had to share with you Alex's fab achievement last Saturday - the first day of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Alex passed his Level 7 Amateur Swimming Association Award! This involves all the major swimming strokes, including Butterfly (such a difficult stroke) and various other elements including dives, full 360 degree somersaults (in the water), completing obstacle courses and some synchronised routines. He has worked really hard for this and I think he couldn't quite believe it when he was told he'd passed it. So, so proud of him for all of his continued hard work and enthusiasm, and his sheer determination to fulfil his goals. Well done beautiful boy xx

OK, off now, so take care, enjoy the next week of the Olympics and I'll be back soon.

Bye for now,
love from me xx