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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Aww Bless!

Aww how sweet of the Boys to let Mummy Linda stop chortling her little, (and if you have met her you know what I mean), toes off and put my mind at ease!
Ta boys, love you both!
Right if you missed my late night post yesterday, then here's the link  to the whole sorry story, which had Mummy Linda curled up on her craft room floor with tears coming out her little tootsies, How do I know this?
Coz when Mummy Linda phoned me tonight to commiserate, and yes she was still laughing, and crying and chortling away to herself, she was only an hour or so after Mikes email, (and I know he had a giggle over last nights post too, yes you young man, and Poor Ian how he puts up with you two I will never know!) letting me know that I could watch again at 10pm tomorrow, YES! you cant order yet, but as it all sold out, they have agreed to restock Create and Craft with it again! So go read the post, and tune in like me tomorrow night and grab your copy!
Right I'm off to sulk, as Mummies shouldn't really laugh at their children like that! Humpf!

Lou

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Well Today went straight by me

And I didnt realise what today was until it was too late, so I dashed upstairs, looked at the schedule and sighed a big sigh of relief!
Then I came upstairs, got everything sorted and then howled in despair!
They had changed the schedule!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo!
I managed to catch a glimpse on product video but thats not the same!!! They had obviously done well enough that stocks are too low for a repeat show! Well done boys, but if anyone did record it can they please send me a copy? Pretty Please?

What am I on about? What do you mean you don't know? Cor Blimey Missus! I thought everyone knew!!! The Boys.......you know the boys, , no honestly if you have been to any craft fair in the past 4 or maybe even 5 years you will have seen the boys, you've probably bought from them in the past too!
The Boys, well actually they are gents but Mummy Linda calls them the Boys and its contagious! The Krafty Hands Boys! Yes them! Cor that was hard work!!
They had a show on Create and Craft today, at 11am, doing their new Motor Mania Double CD. I am one of the DT, and it was really important that I watched and recorded it, but I missed it! Our Louis (10) sent in a card for the boys to show, and it was shown and I missed it!!
So here's the samples I sent in:

 A slider card,

A money Wallet, or gift card wallet

Kinetic Card

Plain Simple, with some Red 1" ribbon down the centre

 Tag Card

The vinyl was cut on the Cameo

Money Wallet Pearlised card

3 Toppers to make the Hanger



A4 Sized, coz I could, ner!


Last But NOT Least, Our Louis' Card!
So if you did catch the show, let me know what you thought would you? What did I miss?

Lou

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Eleanor and Pickles Magical Christmas Flight.


T'was the Night before Christmas, and Santa had a problem!!

 So this is the tale of Eleanor and Pickles Magical Christmas Flight.
Now this has taken a few days to do! Remember I am the one who is working with A4 images, which is the beauty of Digi's you can make them whatever size you want. But it does mean that there's a lot to do, and mistakes are more visible!

So firstly it's quite a daunting image to work with in A4! There's a LOT of night sky to be done. My first issue was considering how to do it!
Okay so good think later, had an idea, so now to tackle the colouring of Eleanor!
I'm something of a traditionalist! I happen to like the Green and Purple versions of Christmas colours, as opposed to the soft drinks company version! So that was the colour scheme I went with. This time I have done a better Job on the hair colouring, dark for me as Grand daughter is dark haired, getting there slowly, and trying to convey a sense of dimension to the Sleigh was the  challenge!
In the end I used the whole of the spectrum of True Blues my choice of pens offered in order to do the sky, working with the lightest out to the darkest, and then trying to blend the colours.
So a finished coloured image.............okay NOW what do I do with it? Stickles out, and do the holly, Cosmic Shimmer red berries dimensional glue for the berries, and nose. Gems on her glasses, which is going to be a continuing theme for me, and then decide..............glitter or fluffy stuff for the snow on the rooves. (And before everyone goes nuts, Rooves was the accepted version of the plural of roof, when I was at school,  and if you check in the oxford dictionary, British and world English, Rooves is an accepted plural!)
So Fluffy Stuff! Unfortunately Fluffy Stuff isnt glittery! but very dimensional and tactile once heated and expanded. So now I needed to get some glimmer into the base image.........Rangers pearlescent paint! tiny dots daubed all over the background, and in real life they seem to fade into the background, and suddenly catch the light bringing them to the fore, last step was to use some Crystal Accents for the windows glasses and Pickles eyes, bless him!
So now to mount the image, now I was going down the route of Shadow boxes, but I changed my mind at the last minute, and decided on a hanging card.
So Matted and layered onto some silver mirri, then onto the base of untrimmed A4 navy Pearlescent cardstock, some Crushed silk ribbon for the handle,  now theres some space round the sides........................Okay, hmmn..................so some rub on shapes that are still sticky when you peel back, hah! so now some careful glittering! and I like it,
Dont forget the only Official Place to get hold of these images is directly from the lovely Heather, anywhere else isnt licensed to sell them!

Hope you do too, have fun,

Lou

Saturday, December 01, 2012

hybrid Crafters heaven!

Hi guys, well this post is for those of us Hybrid Crafters in the UK, and isnt a craft post more a review. So while it maybe interesting for those over water, in which ever direction, its of more importance to those of us in the uk!

Now as I have previously stated I am a Hybrid Crafter. That means I find a digital image, print it out, then craft a physical product with it. Now I use a LOT of cds, digital papers and images, so that means I use a printer a LOT, at this point those in the UK are perking up their ears!
In the UK the laws arent the same as those in the USA, we invalidate our warranty if we install a CISS system! In America, they dont, as their government turned round and told the producers that it did NOT invalidate their warranty, as they werent doing anything harmful or permanent to the printers, just removing the extortionate cost of ink, and being kinder to the enviroment, by not having to recycle ink cartridges constantly!
So onto my new Baby!
I have had this for 10 days. As a hybrid crafter this has been through some work. By this time I would have been through a full set and a half of my normal cartridges, on my old, ancient, distorts the colours so I have to have special settings for it, and doesnt take what I want it to take printer!
So here's some pics, which I will go through and explain to you!
 The Printer itself is an HP Officejet 7500A. It has a Ciss installed which means that instead of cartridges which you have to replace every few pages, it has cartridges with a continuous supply of ink flowing into them. I have managed to find a small embossing powder jar to help support the lid, as the lid itself cant close as the gap is needed for the tubes carrying the ink to go into the machine.
It takes A3+. Anything from 4x6 inch photo paper to 13x 19 inch cardstock. From Tracing paper to 300gsm Pearlised Card stock! Get in there!!!!
It has an automated sheet feed scanner on top, and it still works even though the lid is open. It also has a flatbed A4 scanner
And now to the important part........the Ciss!!!
This is a printer that uses 4 cartridges, so 4 inks. Now I think you can see my issue here, this was full when I started! 3 A4 Colour Calendars, 14 A4 digi's, and 20 TV samples in 10 days later, and the ink is just over half way down. A LOT of ink!
So I have put this through its paces!




Hence the review.
I have had a CISS before. I have had an HP before. So why did I go for this?
Okay My Old HP took everything I threw at it and more! But the inks were very and I do mean VERY expensive. So I switched to compatibles, but my old machine wouldnt work with the yellow inks. So I invested in a Ciss. Not from the company I got this from, but over the internet, and as an add on to my old machine, and Boy did I have trouble! Ink all over the place, It had air blocks, leaked, all sorts of issues, no support and in the end I threw it away. And ended up giving my old HP away as it was too expensive to run.
I then ended up with an Epson, and it wouldnt take the card weights, printed out too dark, even using their inks, all sorts of issues, Epson even replaced the printer at one point, so boy was I fed up! I did manage to find a company that did a decent replacement/compatible cartridge, but even so I still couldnt get the colours right!
So after all that trouble why on earth did I go for another HP and with a Ciss?
Basically to me a Ciss makes more sense, environmentally as well as financially. No cartridges to replace day after day, no half pages printed then have to re-do as it wont print the page again until you tell it to, so half a page of ink wasted! No frantic trips to the shops, as you have discovered that you have run out of ink to complete your project. How many of you are nodding in agreement?
The printer companies make their money from the ink, that's how they can churn out printers under £30, but only when you get it home, and have used up the 1/2 tank of ink they provided you with, do you realise that in most cases the ink costs the same as the printer was in the first place! There generally isnt anything wrong with the printer, but its now getting close to the point where its actually going to work out cheaper to buy a new printer every time instead of new Cartridges!
And Why did I want another HP, when the inks are so expensive? Because unlike most machines, it can and will take 300gsm Card stock! It takes Vellum, tracing paper, envelopes, tissue paper, photo paper and card, and most importantly has a full range of settings to enable it to take Greeting Card stock and Acetate!
Okay last point here, why did I go for an A3+ machine? Because so much is produced as 12 x 12 inch! Docrafts, Serif, etc all produce 12 x 12 inch. Digitally as well as Physically!
So the problem for me was finding someone that did an HP, on A3, with a Ciss, and support! All in one!
So I did some searching. Ideally I wanted the Ciss Set up for me, and as part of the package, so many hours of research later, I discovered that there was only one company that met with all my requirements.
So now to the test, I phoned them first and had a conversation with the guy who deals with sales, turns out he's the owner, lol! Okay full support promised, he wont sell it until he is sure it works properly, the printer is guaranteed for one year, standard guarantee, the Ciss for a life time. What did he recommend bearing in mind I'm a cardmaker...........He came up with the same answer as me, the HP, Ah I said but will it take 300gsm? Hmmn he said, I have some here, so I'll put it through the machine and email you back.
So he emailed me back the answer was yes, a couple of emails later I was ready to drive down to his office, and see it in operation before buying it. But he wasnt ready for me to go get it. I havent tested it fully yet, or done the videos, he said.
So I waited, impatiently!
12 days a go, I got the go ahead, and due to family commitments, had to wait til Friday! Gggrrrrr!
So I drove down to see it, watched it be put through its paces, talked to the guy, watched him box it up and put it in my car, paid the man and drove home!
Now I'm not saying it's cheap, it isnt, BUT it IS cheaper than buying proper ink cartridges again and again! Over a year even with compatible ink cartridges I am saving money, Time, and projects!
I have a printer that FINALLY prints as I see it on the screen! I have a printer that WILL take my heavier card stocks! And its an HP which means its a work Horse, and keeps going!
So If this has piqued your interest, and do sit down and think about how much YOU spend on ink per year, then pop over to this guy: City Ink Express and have a look, also check out his You Tube support videos, so you have an idea of what to expect! I wouldnt recommend it if I wasnt happy with it, and I do also post comments that disagree with my own views, see my Happy Cut reviews for example, okay its only one lady's bad experience, but I still did post it.

Hugs

Lou

Card for a child.

That's the challenge over at Kraftyhands HQ this month, now wether you are late doing your Christmas cards, or getting ahead, is up to you, as this challenge could well be a childs Christmas card, or Birthday card, the choice is yours!

Luckily I actually have MOST of the CD's by the Boys, Mike and Ian, and I am slowly building up a collection of their Stampography Stamps as well, they're yummy! So finding something to use for this challenge was Easy Peasy! And its actually a Child themed set, full of useful bits that I wish I'd had when the kids were younger, lets put it this way, parties would have been a breeze!

This is quite an old collection Pirate Island. But the oldies are the goodies, so here's what I came up with, and by the way, by the time you read this my 3 yr old Grandson will have had his Birthday card by a few weeks, so I was really pleased to see this challenge, as it killed 2 birds with one stone!

A stepper Easel Card, dont ask, made from one of the pre designed stepper card kits, and a backing paper.
Simply cut out, assemble, and embellish to your hearts content!
So using the base stepper card from the boys Template, if you dont know how to do one, its on the CD roms, I simply assembled the card using bits I had cut from the 2 sheets, then I decided to get creative.....................
Sometimes when cards are left on display for sometime, as I know my Grandson will NOT allow his Mum to put the card away when he gets it, the card starts to slide southwards. So my issue became how to make sure the card stays upright as long as possible? Putting supports inside the card is a no-no, as Grandson would pull it open. So how to get it to stay upright?
Aha! An Easel card! Erm but I have already made the stepper card!! Okay get creative!! I printed off one of the Backing sheets from the cd onto some base card. trimmed it to the width of the card, but added a centimeter to the depth. The I scored and glued the base card to the back of the stepper using Collall All Purpose Glue. This glue has become a firm favourite with me, as it seems to physically change the composition of the card! It makes it weld to each other, and really stiffens up any project, with the advantage of being able to wipe the glue away if it leaks out the sides.
Oh and I have just realised that I should have straightened the stepper before photographing it! It is actually straight, but the left side has not come forward enough, blast!!
To finish I used glittery Letters and his age, but I photo'd this before adding his name, as its not the sort of thing I want publicised.
So what can you come up with? You have until the first Friday of the Month to create a Card for a Child. Ideally we want you to use something from the Kraftyhands webshop, which includes the Boys stuff, and loads of products sold by Crafters Companion, so it doesnt matter where in the world you are, there's bound to be something that you can use!! You can also enter by email, pop here, to find out more, for those of you that dont blog but fancy a go!
If you use Kraftyhands or Crafters Companion products from the Boys webshop, and follow the Challenge blog then you stand the chance of a voucher towards some goodies. If you dont then you can win a Blinky for your blog!
So go create Guys and Girls! And dont forget to keep an eye on Create and Craft for more inspiration from the boys when they are on next, which is very soon, so I had better get creating!

Have fun

Lou

first of a couple of posts!

Okay this is the first of a couple of posts, and this and the next are crafty, the third one is for crafters in the UK!

I got given some new digi's to play with by the lovely Heather Valentin, an American Fantasy/Gothic artist, who I actually knew nothing about at first. The name and style didnt mean anything to me, but by gum does it mean something to the kids round here...........seems she is one of the subjects in Art Class at the local Secondary School! So she has a lot of fans in this area, and it's not just confined to my local area, but the North West in general it seems, according to Middlests ex-girlfriend, as she was a big fan as well!

So lets get to the reason you are here!
I am a hybrid crafter. Basically it means that I mix the digital with the physical product. I dont just design via a program and then save the image and post it as a finished product. It means that I might start with a digital image, but I ALWAYS have a finished crafted paper or card product at the end of it.
This time is no exception! And its a bit of a tale, so grab a cup of tea or coffee, a couple of biccies, and get comfy, you could be here a while, while I lead you down the road I traveled to come up with this!


Now this is actually a first for me, and if the lovely Hels reads this, yes you did inspire me to make one, Thank You, its perfect!

Its lying down as its still drying! So dont get picky on me, I cant fast forward time, actually would much prefer to stop time for a few blissful hours of uninterupted craft, but hey-ho, no chance there!
But I digress! This, for those of you who havent come across one before, is a Shadow Box. Basically its a recessed box for displaying anything, and comes in all sorts of sizes and styles. I have a wooden one the kids got me from Chester Zoo years ago, so the concept wasnt totally alien to me, but I didnt "get it" at the time! Now these versions I get, but the others that you fill up, with loads of little areas, sorry I dont "get" those ones!
However, unfortunately for me Darling Daughter was in my craft room when I got sent the image to play with, and she immediately seized upon it and demanded that I do it for my Grand-daughter for Christmas  Hmmn more like do it for her she means!
So how to do it as something that will last and be a treasured item that comes out on display every year? As basically that's what she was after! And you cant really bring out the same cards year after year now can you? And a batch of 7 cards just for her, erm I dont think so!!
So it had to be large, as in A4, Okay so I printed it out on some A4 card stock. So I sat looking at it, wondering what to do, where to start, where to finish...........................and it has to be something I can replicate in a series, which is what this image is, one of a series of the cute Eleanor and Pickles by the lovely Heather Valentin. If you check out a couple of other blogs providing we havent all started on the same one, then you will get to see more of them, so pop over to Lexies Blog, and also Linda's blog.
Right back to my story, now where was I? Oh yes, just starting, sorry! So first step was to colour it..........now I seem to have done a swap with Lexie, her complete collection of Spectrum Noirs, for my incomplete collection of Promarkers! So as they were new to me firstly I had to play on one that printed out waaaaay too big, which took a couple of hours to do, they are different to Promarkers, but the principle is the same, and actually I find them easier to use, as the naming system makes more sense to me. And Youngest agrees, at first he was disappointed that I had given my Promarkers to Lexie, then he turned round after 20 minutes of playing with the Speccies, and asked for them for himself!
So practice over, so come on Lou pick and image and get to work girl!!
Speccies to the fore, I sat and lost myself in the colouring for several hours. When I had finished I sat and looked at it.................not bad, some area's I need to practice on and I will work through the accreditation work, when I get a few hours. Hubby came up to ask me about when I was going shopping, chores, honestly, men just dont get it do they? Now Craft shopping isnt a chore, but having to dash out when I wanted to play? Er sorry Work? So I indicated what was lying on my work surface, now normally he doesnt get craft, and its a general "yes, very nice dear, now.................". This one prompted a comment........Boy is that in my album of moments he was interested! "Is that the one you were colouring?" so I handed it to him,
"(Snort of Laughter)Is that a Frog? Hahaha! Like it! Oh yes you did colour it! Shame it went through to the back though!" Sigh, he just DOESNT UNDERSTAND!
And what does he mean, "Oh yes you did colour it?" Does that mean he thought I was incapable of colouring it? Mr "I have an Art CSE and make sure you remember that!" Or "Wow that's good, looks very professional."?
Anyways, (oh and while I remember for those of you that caught my diatribe on last years wedding anniversary, well this year , and it's not long now till said anniversary, he is constantly going on about the date, and getting it right! Which is a miracle, but we'll see! Keep an eye on here!) now I had an image coloured, what was I going to do with it? I mean I had the first part done, so a step in the right direction, but now I had to make it into some thing that could be displayed every year.......................................
Now a few weeks ago the lovely Hels was on Create and Craft making Shadow boxes, now I didnt particularly pay attention, as it was on in the background, as is normally the case for me, but it must have sunk in, so Thank you Hels, as I now "get it"! So up popped the idea into my brain, and I did have some Shadow Box designs I had downloaded from the Silhouette online store. So off I trot, and would you Adam and Eve it, I dont have one big enough! So off to the online store I trot, and would you Adam and Eve it again, they dont have one in the size I want!
Not to be thwarted, I decided to adjust one of the pre-designed shadow boxes, so I could do one that would cover 11x8 inch, roughly the size I wanted, a few mistakes later, and I had it!
So next step assemble and decorate.........Collal Glue first, as its a strange glue, that seems to change the physical make-up of the card or paper you are working on, and I need this to be tough enough to withstand years of use! So a nice stiff shadow box was completed and the picture incorporated into it.
So now to finish decorating the image and box. So gems on her Glasses, and red pearls on the berries in the picture, some snow flakes by Papermania, and some Glossy Accents on glasses lenses, and Pickles Eye's.
On the outside, I used some Twisted Christmas Rope, from the Pound shop, for the handle, and trimming around the front, then I got some of the plastic Mouldable boughs, holly and pinecones, by MCS, snd trimmed and heated them to shape. I added a Poinsettia, leaves, and bits again by MCS in the bottom corner. all in all I like it! I like the colouring, and composition, and hope that you do too, and well done by the way on getting all the way down to the bottom!
Just in case you forgot what you came here for:
Right what you need:
Eleanor and Pickles. The only Official place you can get them from is the Lovely Heather. Anywhere else is NOT official.

Your choice of Colouring mediums, now I'm not going to tell you what colours to use, as its YOUR choice!

A Shadow Box, to suit the size you choose. You can cut them with an electronic cutter like me, or purchase them un assembled in card and wood.

Embellishments to suit your design. My project is to inspire you to go off and create your own version of this, so I have told you what I used, what you use is up to you!

Right off to sleep for a few hours, well it is 1am, lol, have fun, and take care, oh and if you do pop by Linda's blog, well she has some fab candy up for grabs!

Hugs

Lou