Friday, 23 September 2011

Polkadoodles Challenge - Distress it.

No card from me this week, I'm not feeling too well and have a busy week coming up but make sure you checkout the PD challenge blog as there are some fabulous projects from the DT this week.  Also - make sure all your entries are in for last week's challenge to be in with a chance of winning the new Pretty Sweet CD! You will love it!
This week we also have a super giveaway from Letraset and some useful tips for using your Flexmarkers with a freebie download so make sure you go check it out HERE.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Pretty Sweet...

So I am in love with our latest CD of scrummy cuteness. For ages I've wanted to make a really pretty, unashamedly girlie collection and one night a few weeks ago I was totally inspired. I have to say ALL 12 of these lovely characters were penned in one single evening, in about 4 hours! Rather like those muso's that manage to write a whole album in a week!  I finished about 1am, trundled off to bed and the next morning awoke and skipped off to my 45minute checkup at the hospital. The rest, as they say, goes down in history as the worst 45min appt ever - it lasted 6 whole days!  So whilst incarcerated I kept on working (not much can keep me down LOL) and designed all the backing papers to co-ordinate, which was most amusing - should've got the OH to take a pic of me trapped in my corner of the ward with iphone, netbook, macbook, graphics tablet and drawing pads all around me squirrying away lol! After the first day of me setting up my desk the Docs and Nurses just shook their heads at me. I like to think it was in admiration but I suspect it was more despair :D
Well that's what happens if I get locked up and feel as fit as a butcher's dog!!  Anyway, I'm so glad I did because it meant that it kept me from climbing the walls some days and also meant that we were able to launch this beaut mini collection at Harrogate GNPE last week, where you all loved it.  So here are some of the samples I managed to make for the show (in about 4 hrs I kid you not)...deadlines schmedlines and all that...
(oo before I forget - at GNPE we did a show special on Pretty Sweet - however this week I decided that I needed to give you more sentiment sheets for the CD so if you want to grab these then you can get it as a titchy download here to just give you a few more options - if your CD already has 5 sheets of sentiments please do not buy the download, you don't need it).

You can't really see it here but the roses are coloured with the fabulous Kuretake Zig Wink of Stella pens - if you haven't tried these yet they are delicious!! Not at all like Sakura glitter pens, these have a fibre tip and the glitter is really intense but as it's not suspended in a gel you actually get a more vivid truer colour. I love glitter but not all over everything and these give more of a glittery shimmer which is really beautiful, rather than a full on bling it up child-like glitter if that makes sense. They're stunning, and the clear really is absolutely transparent, again I find the Sakura glitter still shows the gel beneath it whereas WOS don't present that problem at all and they last for ages. (and yes, waterbased so you can watercolour with them too, BUT make sure you store horizontally!).
You can see the sparkle a little more on the t-shirt on this image - that clear does not change the colour beneath it whatsoever...All of these images were coloured with Flexmarkers, with Promarkers for the hair...
I adore how it's so easy to get those peachy sweet skintones now with the Flexmarker brush...

and then finally, we couldn't do a consumer show without these beauties, although you did all go rather mental for the hair techniques at this show which was a surprise to me...
I decided to colour this one in a slightly more traditional way to how I'd normally do these scenes but I must say I absolutely adore the colours on this scene...
The photography on some of these isn't the best but you'll be able to see this sample in real-life on Kuretake's Create and Craft shows on Sunday 25th September.  If you don't know much about Kuretake products - where on earth have you been?? You seriously need to check out the whole range, and if you love your alcohol based markers then watch this space for some reviews on the Kurecolor range coming up soon and lots of Kuretake news and snippets.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

A Saturday off...

Well, sort of...just nothing pressing rather than "off". But I decided I would spend a few hours with my Cuttlebug, Nesties and Marianne's dies just cutting shedloads in prep for when I need them. I get really annoyed with myself just cutting one thing at a time and can't be faffed so I have all these dies and never end up using them, so wasteful (2011 has really seen me try and USE my stash instead of it sitting looking pretty and all loney)!...
So to make the die-cuts work for me whenever I need them I decided to just cut from white card. This means you can have a massivo stack and then just ink and pretty them up to suit whatever you're making, whenever you need them, rather than cutting from loads of patterned papers and then never having the right shape to use in the right pattern - sods law this will never work in a month of Sundays.
...and yes, I still have my Cricut Expression and no doubt I could've cut all these in half the time and it would've been much easier but I really don't have room for it at home so I'm sad to say I havent used it since last Christmas! Shocking I know, but I will  use it any day now ; )
So here is the mountainous stack...
Excuse the naff pic - as I was cutting some really intricate flourishes I've learned my lesson before - they all get tangled up and it takes you as long to untangle them as it does to cut new ones! So I placed them in little piles on acetate to keep them together and fairly tidy and then layered up the stack trying to have some semblance of organisation.
...So I hear  you say, big deal! So what? Nothing remarkable there!...well yes I agree, I the only person on earth who gets really annoyed that the paper wont pop out of the dies easily? I was thinking about this a lot and after about an hour of being thoroughly annoyed with it I realised there was an easy peasy fix...I got a tealight and gently rubbed it across the die.
Guess what - BINGO!! Super doopy easy release!! It was instantaneous - AND it meant the ones which I was struggling to get to cut properly (note, Spellbinders new Doily) - suddenly cut much much more easily! AND I could also cut 2, sometimes 3 sheets of 160gsm at the same time! Now that is what I call a good day's work.  Ok, so there are downsides - obviously the paper WILL get wax on it so if you're going to ink any of the edges you might find its messy because you'll get a resist from the wax, but to be honest I really like having a nice crisp white frame so for me it's not an issue. I tend to use white flourishes and accents because it sometimes just gives your project a lift when it's all looking a bit overdone with patterned papers and coloured images etc.
So, if  you find  you struggle - give it a whirl! I'm sure someone else has done this before but I've never seen anyone else have as much of an issue as I seem to and it works for me so I'm happy.
edited: Just occurred to me it might be a cleaner option to use something like Mr Sheen wipes - this'll give you a waxy finish without getting it everywhere. Must buy some next time I do a shop! x
and edited again (sigh): yes, yes, tumble dryer sheets. Probs the best option overall. Will do it and report backski. (i am not editing again) x

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Just a quick post to say a huge thankyou to everyone for all the get well wishes and cards you've been sending, I'm overwhelmed!  I actually haven't been "ill" as unwell but a routine hospital appointment turned into a 5 day stay for some major observation. Needless to say I never do anything by halves and I've had half the specialist teams in Yorkshire scratching their heads trying to find out what the heck is going on because I was wandering around happy as Larry when they all thought I should be 6ft under! I've always said I'm built like a brick shithouse and they don't often fall down do they haha!(our shed is built around an old one in our yard LOL).
So I am home and fine although I will be taking a bit of time out of my schedule under instruction to take it a little easier, this past year certainly has been very demanding indeed, but I do know when I need to ease up.  Sorry if you were looking forward to the Letraset shows last weekend which were cancelled, but there will be more. I'm so so happy that I will be able to go to the GNPE event at Harrogate this weekend 10/11th September and my trusty elf Tracie, the pink haired elf will be there to keep an eye on me, as will the lovely Clare Curd who will be giving me a hand with the old demo schedule. I do hope she brings cake! :D
Thanks again to everyone who has messaged on twitter, facebook, the forums and email, I really do appreciate all your support, you lovely kind peeps.  mwaaah xxx