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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, 21 July 2015

Commission orders

Hi folks

Hope you're all well and enjoying the summer. No doubt some of you are just about to break up for summer vacation.

Here at Chez Brooks it's been a busy time, sort of. I went off for a well-earned break to Mallorca for a week in May and had a lovely, stress-free week, with lots of gentle walks meandering around the local area taking in the scenery and nature's wonders in general. Bliss. I also got to spend time with two very special friends - bonus!

My son's PDAS (pathological demand avoidance syndrome - an autistic spectrum disorder) has made life increasingly challenging and restrictive this year, to the point where often I don't go anywhere or see anyone from one week to the next. His aggression levels are spiking too, so needless to say I am hoping that his hormones will settle down soon and perhaps alleviate things somewhat. In the meantime I just have to grin and bare it.

Crafting-wise, well, since I no longer make things for a local gift shop, the pressure's off and I can sit and make something when I feel like it rather than because I have to. This is nice because it frees me up to please myself what I make at any given time. So I've enjoyed making a little 8-inch canvas and adding lots of mixed media loveliness to another one I made a while ago. Mixed media is definitely a work in progress for me and somewhat of a learning curve to get the most out of different products and achieve the results I envisage - what I see in my head and what happens on the canvas are often two different things, which is sometimes good and sometimes not!

I have had a few card commissions recently, which is always nice, and I've included photos of two recent ones here, which I think I said I would in a previous post.

The first one is an 8-inch boxed easel card. A close friend of mine, a lady I was at school with, asked me to make a special card for her mum and dad's upcoming 60th wedding anniversary. I felt very honoured to be asked and this was what I came up with. The lovely couple were married in July 1955, so I chose a paper which has a swallow top left because I thought that was very appropriate for the time of year. I love the bride's wedding dress - fab 1950s styling and it even has a little collar, which you can't see in the photo here, but is just discernible in the original wedding photo. The dress is made from beautiful lace and is not quite full length. She had pink carnations in her bouquet so I made sure to include at least a couple in my design. The paper has a fantastic resist design printed on it which when inked with distress ink really brought out the detail, but again it's not showing particularly well in this photo unfortunately.

Inside (or on the base) I used the same paper again and more pink carnations. There is a vellum banner beneath the photo which reads "Congratulations".

My friend was absolutely delighted with this card and it was an absolute pleasure making it for her.

The next card was also commissioned by my lovely friend, for an upcoming wedding, which has now happened, so I'm safe sharing the photos!

My remit was a non-boxed card for a very young couple who were getting married, so I felt my stick figure bride and groom stamp was perfect! My friend didn't know the colour scheme for the wedding so I stuck with white, cream and pale pink, and coloured the bride's dress ivory.

Inside the card I used more of the same paper I'd used on the front, added a die-cut scalloped circle for writing a message on, and the vellum banner again reads "Congratulations".

My friend was also delighted with this card.

It is always a relief when I manage to get designs right for people - it's quite a responsibility!

As you can tell from most of my makes, I'm generally a CAS kind of girl, although I do deviate from time to time, but on the whole, I prefer uncluttered designs and think it's always nice to have a bit of space so you can see background designs/papers, which are so beautiful that they shouldn't be completely hidden and deserve to be enjoyed in all their glory.

Anyway, that's all from me for now.

I'll be back at some point to share my two recent canvasses, but in the meantime, the gutting and redecorating of a bedroom beckons, so that's what will be occupying me for the next couple of weeks or so!

Enjoy your hols, whether you're going away or staying home, and I'll see you soon.

Take care,
love Julie xx

Thursday, 11 June 2015

All change

Hi folks, and as the title suggests, it's all change for Beebaab Designs. Well, up to a point.

I decided after much soul searching to pull out of the gift shop that I'd been supplying for two years. There were several reasons for this decision, which I won't bore you with, but suffice it to say I now have boxes of stock with no home to go to while I figure out what to do next. I'm sure I'll get there eventually.

So, with no more pressure to produce bulk quantities for a shop, I feel much less stressed. However, I do need to sort out a source of income and so will be pondering this over the next few weeks and no doubt eventually I will have a light bulb moment on this conundrum.

But despite this perhaps perceived lack of purpose, I have still made a few things, well, some cards anyway! I had a 60th birthday card to make for my sister-in-law's birthday - she loved it. It's an 8-inch card and I had fun putting it together. The 60 is made using the Tim Holtz Word Play die. I used a mixture of products, from Papermania, Craftwork Cards and The Ribbon Girl and the butterflies are made using the Cascadia Butterfly Trio die by Memory Box, foliage made using Garden Greens by Tim Holtz. The sentiment was computer generated.

At around the same time I had a card to make for my sister for her birthday. It wasn't a milestone birthday but I wanted to make one anyway. Again, Papermania paper mixed with The Ribbon Girl flowers, ribbon and lace, the same butterfly and foliage dies. The sentiment stamps are from Penny Black "T" for Transparent Sweet Wishes and Papermania Relations Clear Stamps.

I received a commission order from a very good friend of mine for two cards - a wedding card for a young couple and a 60th anniversary card for her parents. I can't share either of these as the events in question have not yet happened, but once they have, I'll post some pics for you. I am delighted to say that my friend absolutely loved both of the cards I made for her and said the anniversary one made her cry - now that's what I call job satisfaction!

Finally from me today, this card which I just made a couple of days ago for my brother's upcoming birthday. I can share this one because he doesn't read my blog so I know I'm safe!

I used a kraft card base, then white card, and topped this with some hessian, which I stamped the word celebrate and the three stars directly on to. The stars were coloured in using a Tim Holtz Distress Marker in Picket Fence and then I added some Star Dust Stickles on top. The harlequin die is from the Tim Holtz Sizzix Thinlits Mixed Media set and the cogs are from a set by Donna-Salazar for Spellbinders called Sprightly Sprockets. I also used the bunting from the Memory Box set called Banner Parade. It's all inked up in places (including on the hessian itself) using Pumice Stone Distress Ink, which is my favourite "aging" distress ink colour, and I also added some Cloud White Versamagic Chalk Ink around the sides of the card for added shabbiness. I used Creative Expressions metallic gilding wax in Patina and Ultramarine to add the blue colour mix to the various elements. In real life it has a nice sheen to it where I buffed it up and so does look slightly metallic, industrial, steampunk-ish. The sentiments are again by Papermania and Penny Black. To finish it I just added a few little self adhesive clear gems here and there. I just hope my brother likes it!

Well, I hope you like what I made and would love to read your comments.

Thanks for stopping by and I'll be back soon.

Take care,

Julie x

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Home is where the heart is

Hello everyone

Doesn't time fly? I cannot believe we are almost mid-way through April 2015 already!

So, today I decided to produce another piece of canvas art, and I hope you will love it as much as I do.

This is a 10 x 8 canvas which I painted with two colours of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish chalk acrylic - Sherbet and Lilac - before coating with crackle glaze and then adding DecoArt White acrylic over the top. This gave my canvas an aged look, but I think I might try a different crackle medium next time to try to get bigger cracks because there's not much of the underneath colours showing through, even though I tried to do a very thin layer of the white paint so the colours would still show through a bit.

Anyway, I still liked the overall effect when it was dry, so that was lucky! I decided to used an artpad image from LOTV Set 24 English Charm as my focal point, together with various dies - Tim Holtz Alterations Dies Trellis and Garden Greens, and Memory Box Banner Parade (for the little hearts), and lots of lovely flowers from Ribbon Girl.
After I'd die cut the trellis I decided to use four of the popped out pieces to make a kind of photo corner for each corner of my image, which I think is a great way of using those pieces, don't you? I used some of the wires from the flowers to make little bits of swirly foliage here and there.

I cut the garden greens foliage from white textured cardstock (Papermania) and inked it up a bit with VersaMagic chalk ink in Aloe Vera. The little sentiment is from Little Claire Designs stamp set "At home" and was stamped in Memento Ink Tuxedo Black, again using the white textured cardstock, and I very lightly inked two corners with VersaMagic chalk ink in Spring Pansy.

Here are a few close-ups to see the crackle effect and those lovely flowers.

Well, that's all for this post.

I look forward to reading your lovely comments and appreciate you sticking around.

See you again soon!

Julie xx

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Two very special cards for two very special couples

Hello all

Today I'd like to share with you two cards I made for two very special couples. My sister and brother-in-law celebrated 25 years of marriage a little while ago, and my brother and sister-in-law have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this week! I made a special card for each of them and hope you will like them.

They are both easel style boxed cards, but even though some elements within them are the same, the two designs look very different!

This first one was for my sister and brother-in-law. I used some papers out of a paper pad which has since disappeared (it will be in a box somewhere, but I am constantly moving things around so easily lose track of where I've put something!), the name of which I cannot for the life of me remember! The paper on the front section has the words "cherish forever with all my heart", which I thought was rather appropriate! I've added some lace on the left, together with a lovely lace butterfly, wooden hearts and flowers from Ribbon Girl. The two sentiments were printed out using a laser printer and then foiled in silver using a laminator, although in this photo they look black because of the way the light's fallen! The die on the front is called Ornate Plate, designed by Karen Burniston for Sizzix, and it's one of my favourite, use it time and time again dies. The paper on the "inside" has two white doves in the bottom left corner and I used more lace on the right hand side. The centre stamped wording and linked hearts are from a set by Woodware. I made up a box for this and used a strip of one of the papers and more flowers to decorate the lid, but I forgot to take a photo!

And here is the card I made for my brother and sister-in-law - photographed before I'd added the foiled names at the top.

As I said, some elements are the same, but the overall look is very different from the first one.

I used paper from a paper pad called Butterfly Garden by Wild Rose Studio, along with beaded edging and flowers from Ribbon Girl and some die cut foliage (Garden Greens by Tim Holtz/Sizzix). There is ribbon and lace running across the middle of the card. The number 25 in the centre is die cut from textured cardstock using a die from Memory Box. I added a few pearl hearts as a finishing touch.

Inside the card I die cut a scalloped circle to write our message on and simply embellished it with a few more pearl hearts and a sentiment from Craftwork Cards.

It never ceases to amaze me how many different variations can be achieved using some of the same elements, just depending on papers and embellishments used.

I love both of these cards and hope you do too. The recipients were absolutely delighted with them.

Thanks for dropping in.

Bye for now,
Julie x

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

A few cards

Hi folks

Just a quick one from me today to share a few cards I've made recently.

I used various products to make some general everyday cards and I hope you like them.

This first one was simply stamped using Distress Ink in Pumice Stone and stamps from Penny Black (Slapstick/cling 40-092 all you need ..." and Hero Arts Art of the Card stamp set AC005 Untitled Word Shadow). I also inked around the edges with Pumice Stone. Sorry, not the best photo.

Next a shaped card which I covered with some papers I bought several years ago, along with some pretty lace and a couple of die cut flowers.

This next one is a "wrap" card. I used papers from another stack I bought several years ago (yes, I'm a paper hoarder!) and decorated the edges of the two sides with some pretty lace. I embellished the front with die cut foliage, a row of pearls on some pink pleated ribbon and some flowers from Ribbon Girl, added the inside tag message and tied a little lace through the hole at the top.

I also made a little coordinating box for it.

The next card was embellished with some pretty red roses, ribbon and lace, together with some delicate die cut butterflies created using a lovely Memory Box die called Fluttering Corner.

Another simple design, this time using a linen textured card blank. I used the lovely Fluttering Corner die again, and this time used both the outline and the butterflies. I love that outline design! I also made three tiny daisies using a little punch I bought years ago - in fact I think it was the first punch I ever bought! I stamped the sentiment using VersaMagic Jumbo Java and inked around the edges of the card using Distress Ink in Pumice Stone.

I hope you like my designs and would love to read your comments.

Bye for now!

Julie x