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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, 17 June 2013

Ribbon Girl June Colour Challenge - pink

Hello all

I decided to join in the June colour challenge over at The Ribbon Girl. I haven't taken part in any of their challenges before, but it just so happens that I have recently purchased a few of their gorgeous flowers, in all shades of pink (amongst others), so thought this month's colour challenge was ideal!

I created an 8 x 8 layout and I had a wonderful time putting it all together. It was one of those makes where I had a picture in my head immediately of how I wanted it to look and it has turned out exactly as I'd hoped. Yay! Love it when that happens! I hope you all like it.

As you can see, the theme is love, which seems quite appropriate for a pink colour scheme. The thought process was "love blooms", hence the word "Love", all of the beautiful blooms, and the gorgeous butterfly which as we all know starts out as generally a very unremarkable caterpillar and blooms into something beautiful.

The papers I used are from the new True Romance collection by Kaisercraft, along with the "love" die-cut. All of the gorgeous blooms, lace, ribbon, tiny ric rac, bird cage charm, butterfly and little wooden heart are from The Ribbon Girl. I added a few buttons from my stash and finished with pearls and Stickles.

I do hope you like my creation and would love you to leave a comment.

Thanks for visiting!

Take care,
love from me xx

PS: I'm also entering this layout in the Daring Cardmakers challenge: A festival of flowers.

Citrus & Fuchsia

Hello everyone

Crikey, where did that weekend go? It flew by almost in a blur. We were out and about all weekend so no crafty time for me but I'm sure I will be able to make up for that over the next few days!

Meanwhile, I have one more wedding card to share with you. This time it's an easel card, and I've used a colour scheme of fuchsia and citrus green. As always I hope you like it and will leave me a kind comment.

I used my all time favourite stamp "All You Need" and stamped the heart blossom branches using Pear Tart Memento Ink. I stamped some over the bride & groom image deliberately to give the impression of the happy couple standing in a clearing with blossoms overhead and in the foreground. I added a few pink heart shaped gems here and there and some Stickles glitter glue both on the foliage and on the bride's dress, veil and train. I stamped the words "love" and "cherish" from a clear stamp set by Kaisercraft, which is part of their new True Romance collection, onto some paper from a paper pack by Kaisercraft from a range called Secret Admirer, cut these out and placed them on the front of the card. For the base I used the same heart blossom stamp, die cut the fancy tag and stamped the word "Congratulations" (from a clear set by Penny Black) in the centre. I placed this in the centre of the front section of the base and used some beautiful flowers from The Ribbon Girl to decorate it and act as the stopper.

close-up to see those beautiful blooms

side view to show the easel effect and the stamping, which I also did on the back too
I also did a matching box for it, but kept the design very simple, just using the heart blossom stamp and a few heart shaped gems. 

OK, that's it from me today.

See you soon and have a great week!

Love from me xx

Friday, 14 June 2013

Happy Anniversary

Hello everyone

Man, did we have a storm and a half late yesterday afternoon - did any of you get it? I was sitting in the back room grabbing some crafty time and the skies were darkening by the second, huge ominous grey clouds travelling across the sky with continuous eerie rumbling and crashing sounds to accompany them. I truly thought "Is this going to be just a storm or is this going to be a tornado?" - it was really quite scary. Then the heavens opened and it was torrential! The sheer volume of rainwater completely overwhelmed our gutters and was just pouring off like waterfalls. I feel very, very sorry for anyone caught in that! The worst of it only lasted about ten minutes but we must have had about two inches of rain in that short space of time!

So anyway, my crafty time allowed me to make a pretty anniversary card using a couple of bits from a new range from Kaisercraft and a cream linen textured card blank. I hope you like it.

I'm really pleased with how this card turned out. The papers and tags are from the Kaisercraft range True Romance and the lace and some of the flowers are from The Ribbon Girl. I also added flowers which I bought from Hobbycraft at least a year ago and some buttons from a pack I bought at Dunelm probably two plus years ago! The wording on the sentiment is from a set by Woodware which I only purchased in this last week. It has all the separate words for different wedding anniversaries, and includes those tiny entwined hearts (and champagne glasses), so it was perfect for this. It looks like it's been fixed on crooked but it hasn't, that's just the angle I've taken the photo at creating an optical illusion!

I hope you like my card - please leave me a comment. As always I love to hear from you.

I'll be back soon!

Take care,
love from me xx

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Wedding cards 2nd instalment

Morning all

What a grey, miserable day again! We did have some glimmers of sunshine early on (about 6.30am) but thanks to antihistamines I was too sleepy to take advantage of it, so by the time I surfaced much, much later (not telling you when!), the sunshine had gone and it was trying to rain. Boo! I think summer's over. It feels like autumn is just around the corner. I'm so glad I made the most of the sunny days when we had them.

Anyway, I have a couple more wedding cards to share with you, which I hope you will like.

The first one combines the bride & groom stamp which I've used previously with the Ornate Plate die which I've also used previously. I thought the two together might be quite nice.

Our bride is in lilac today! I also added a couple of die cut flourishes and then finished with some more beautiful flowers from Ribbon Girl and glitter for added sparkly highlights. The sentiment is from Penny Black.

My 2nd card is a bit different. I used a linen textured card blank and some linen textured lilac card stock. I used a new stamp I purchased from Magnolia, and stamped the word "Wedding" onto more of the white linen textured cardstock. I then die-cut this using a die from a Spellbinders Shapeabilities set called Fancy Tags 2. I love the effect of stamping onto the textured card. Decorated with flowers, lace, ribbon and sparkly heart which were all from Ribbon Girl. I also made a box for it.

I kept the box simple as I didn't want it to detract from the pretty card inside.

I hope you like my two cards and would love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, take care and I'll be back soon.

Love from me xx

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Mystery solved!


Just a quick post from me today.

Remember a little while ago I did a post about a mystery plant which had appeared in our garden? Well, mystery solved - it turned out to be this ....

..... it's a Red Hot Poker! How did it get into our garden? Must have been the birdies dropping seeds for us - very kind of them too, it's a pretty addition to our garden and gives a hint of the Mediterranean - lovely.

Most of our spring blooms have gone over now, but we do have some lovely colour still, in the form of laburnum, honeysuckle, foxgloves, strawberries and various other plants whose names I do not know! But I love them all. Here's a few pics.

beautiful honeysuckle

scrumptious strawberries - well, they will be soon!

one large branch of our lovely Laburnum

OK, I'm off. Hope you enjoyed these photos of my garden and that you are enjoying equally glorious blooms wherever you live.

Bye for now,
love from me xx

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Mr & Mrs

Hi everyone

I don't know what it's like where you are, but it's a cloudy, grey, cool day here - where did the sunshine go? I've had to have the heating on. TWICE! And I'm even contemplating socks!

So, to brighten up this dreary day, here are a couple of wedding cards I made recently.

This first one used a couple of stamps, the bride & groom design is a Stampendous cling stamp and the sentiment is a clear stamp from a set by Penny Black. I stamped the bride & groom image onto white card and die cut it into a scalloped circle shape, then die cut a larger scalloped circle to go behind it. I decided to go for a lovely cerise pink and white colour scheme. I coloured the bride's bouquet and the groom's bow tie and cummerbund with a Promarker and used some Stickles to add sparkly highlights. The two little hearts top right and bottom left I had made some time ago using some glittery card stock and two little heart gems and they were perfect for this card. The gorgeous flowers are from Ribbon Girl. It's a clean and simple design but I think it works really well because it's uncluttered.

close-up of those gorgeous flowers
This second card is also in a clean and simple style. I used a fanciful card blank (Craftwork Cards) and added a die cut shape using a die called Ornate Plate (Sizzix). I die cut it out of white card first, then patterned paper, then married the two up and fixed it in place. The double layer gives a bit more definition. I lightly inked around lots of the edges of the die-cut to give it even more definition. I stamped "Mr & Mrs" (Stampendous cling stamp) right in the centre, added the little pearls and some more gorgeous flowers from Ribbon Girl. I inked around the edges of the card too.

another close-up

OK, short and sweet from me today!

Hope you like my cards - do you like them both or prefer one more than the other? Which is your favourite? I'd love to hear from you.

I'll be back with more to share soon.

Take care and happy crafting!

Love from me xxx

Monday, 10 June 2013

New home 2nd instalment

Morning everyone

I hope you all had a great weekend?

Today I'm sharing more New Home cards which I made recently.

This first one uses a stamp by Little Claire Designs which I coloured using some fine liners and some Promarkers. I added glossy accents to the hearts, used a gold metallic Promarker for the ribbons and used Stickles to make the little doves sparkle.

I used a couple of pretty little blossom flowers from Ribbon Girl, along with some grosgrain ribbon around the panel. The sentiment is by Penny Black.

This next one uses one of my favourite stamps. It's by Penny Black and is called "All You Need". I love the heart blossoms on these branches and there are so many uses for this stamp! I've lost count of the number of different card designs I've used it on!

So, I stamped the blossom branches and added some little crystal hearts here and there. I used a bird cage die by Poppystamps Inc and die cut the cage from a paper from a pack by Paper Cellar, and I used a Craftwork Cards template to draw two little birds and cut these from another section of the same paper. Lots of Stickles for sparkle and the sentiment is by Little Claire Designs.

Finally for today, this card which uses a Tim Holtz On the Edge die called Townscape. I bought this about a year ago and hadn't used it, but knew I would eventually! I kept it simple and used kraft card for the background, brown raffia, and highlighted with a big yellow button for the sun and coloured one of the houses yellow using Squeezed Lemonade Distress Ink. I've chosen this style because it lends itself to a more masculine "new home" card - after all, it's not just girlies and lovey dovey couples who move house you know, men do too! It's turned out to have a bit of an eerie, Halloween feel to it, and has given me a few ideas for some Halloween projects later this year! I think it's cool, but what do you think?

The sentiment, again, is from a set by Little Claire Designs.

Well, that's it from me for today. I hope you like these cards and would love you to leave me a comment.

I'll be back soon with some wedding cards!

Bye for now,
love from me xx

Friday, 7 June 2013

New Home

Hello everyone

Well, that's another week gone and we're almost mid-way through June so almost mid-way through 2013 - I can't believe how quickly this year is going!

So, this last week has been a busy one. We took our son to a Home Educators Day at the Birmingham ThinkTank! Science Museum (part of the University of Birmingham) and he had a great day taking part in various science workshops, watching a 3D film about tornadoes and learning about the properties of fire, light and colour, playing with water (but in a scientific way of course!) and generally being inquisitive and scientific. We always love these events and they don't come round often enough in our opinion. He gets some hands-on practical science learning which is always fun, takes part in group activities which obviously doesn't happen much with being an only child and home-schooled, and just gets to be inquisitive about all sorts of things. It backs up the work I do with him in books and online and helps to cement the newly found knowledge in his amazing brain. The staff who put these days together work really hard getting the workshops right for the different age groups of children and making sure they're fun as well as informative. We've never been disappointed yet. Hubby has done a bit more work on our kitchen make-over and has also been finishing some paid work. I've been trying to find some time to make a few cards which were specially requested by the owner of the lovely new shop where I have some of my items for sale. I was chuffed to bits to be asked to say the least. She already has 4 ladies on board making cards for her - and their work is beautiful I can tell you - so I feel quite flattered to have been asked to join her card-making crew! She asked me if I could supply cards for weddings, anniversaries and new home so of course I said "yes" straight away!

Now, I actually didn't have many stamps or dies to cater for these particular card categories - typical! - so it's certainly been a bit of a challenge to get a few half decent ones made which don't all look the same! I hasten to add that I have now taken delivery of some new stamps and some new card stock too, so I should be able to inject a bit more variety into my designs once I get back into my crafty space again.

So, here today I thought I would share some of the new home cards I've made, and in the next few posts I'll share the remaining new home cards along with the wedding cards I've made so far. (I had some cards for anniversaries in stock already so haven't made any of those yet, but will be in due course.)

Right, so this first one took me hours to make :) simply because I dithered and faffed so much and was really quite indecisive about the whole thing from start to finish - nothing new there!

I took an 8 x 8 card blank and my plasma house template which I bought from Craftwork Cards years ago and cut the card into the shape of the house. I then set about decorating it, which is where all the faffing came in! I decided to use more of the Secret Admirer papers from Kaisercraft since they were out and handy and I love the colours! I think that doily shape for a window works really well and am very pleased I went down that route, and look, it's got some Lily of the Valley on it - my favourite flower in the whole World! The flowers around the door were cut from more of the papers and placed behind and in front of the die cut picket fence. I cut a few more to decorate the wall and roof of the house, added tiny ric rac and various colours of glitter glues and finished by stamping the sentiment. The wording for this is from a Little Claire set and the banner is from a Penny Black set.

I "half cut" into the petals of the left-hand flower to give more dimension

This next one used a 6 x 6 card blank, some very dark pink pearlescent card and some die cut flowers, and a die cut house. I added a bit of pink raffia too which took an absolute age and a huge amount of determination (or stubbornness) on my part to thread through those flowers I can tell you, because I didn't punch holes through did I? Oh no, I decided to just use the pointy end of a needle with a large eye (which I've used in the past for tapestry work), which turned out to be really hard to push through the card and made my fingers really sore! I also added a little die cut heart to the house and a clear gem to the centre of the "sun" on the right! Those bits didn't hurt at all! The sentiment is again from a set by Little Claire.

Finally for today's installment, this card which also took a bit of time because of all the cutting and shaping!

On this card I used some paper from a pack by Paper Cellar and added the birdhouse and little bird which I created using a Craftwork Cards template (again something I'd had in my stash for ages!). I used glitter glue to define the edges, the roof and base of the birdhouse and around the "hole". Next I took some tiny flowers which were from a paper range called Bohemian (again, Craftwork Cards), shaped and stuck them together and fixed them in place. I added glitter glue to these for extra sparkle. Finally I added the sentiment banner, again made using the stamps from Little Claire and Penny Black.

So there you have three new home cards, which are now sitting proudly in the shop with big smiles on their faces and cloud messages saying "Please buy me"! Yep, I'm batty, but I did warn you at the top of my blog!

I hope you like my cards and would love to hear from you - you're a quiet bunch! Please leave me a comment and I will reply, I promise!

Have a great weekend, whatever you're up to - looks like another wall to wall sunshine one in prospect here - yay, more pruning and more barbecue food - yummy!

Bye for now,
love from me xx

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Hope, dream, live

Hello everyone and I hope you're all having a lovely weekend.

Hubby is continuing the task of scraping the texture off our kitchen ceiling. The original plan was to just chip away some really uneven bits and then coat the whole ceiling with some "untexture" stuff which would even out all the lumps and bumps of the textured finish and give us a smooth ceiling again. However, when he started chipping away, the coating was coming off quite easily, so he decided to bite the bullet and scrape the whole lot off. It's coming off really well and there will be very little in the way of filling to do before it can just be painted in the same way as the walls, so that's great - a much easier job really than trying to get an even coat of "untexture" compound! I suspect we may be out of time to return the tub of untexture compound though - perhaps I'll get my mitts on it to use in some future crafty projects! :D

Meanwhile, I have had more time to play and have a little layout to share with you using some of the lovely elements from the Kaisercraft Secret Admirer range, along with some pretty flowers from The Ribbon Girl.

I really enjoyed making this and love how it turned out, but what do you think? I'd love to hear from you so please leave me a comment.

My beautiful layout which I'm very pleased with - by the way, that saying at the bottom is "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you have imagined." A great piece of life advice I think.

I shaped the butterfly's wings a little and added the shimmering effect by using Diamond Stickles

A close-up of the beautiful green blooms

Fabulous pink bloom which has a big bead in the centre but it doesn't show up too clearly here

Well, that's all from me for this weekend.

Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts and I'll be back soon.

Do please leave me a comment - I read every single one and love to hear from you, and I'll always try to leave a reply comment for you too.

Take care.

Bye for now
Julie xx