Monday 30 December 2019

Embossed snowflake

Hi Crafters,

I hope, you have had peaceful and wonderful Christmas celebrations, wherever you are. 

We did enjoy Christmas a lot, we celebrated at our place. 
In Germany we celebrate on Christmas eve. My family was due to arrive at about 3 pm, so we could attend church at 4 pm. But since my girls' Dad needed to leave rather early, so see his other family, we agreed that he should come over an hour early, to he could spend a little more time with the girls. 

Our tradition is to set up and decorate the tree on the morning of the 24th (yes, that late) together. So, running late with preparations, as usual, I decided that he could do that with the girls, while I was finishing the last tasks in the kitchen and around the house.

Well, nice in theory, in actuality, he ran half an hour late, by which time the tree had already fallen over once, because I was maybe a bit overenthusiastic when I bought it. Meaning I got it fresh from a local farmer and in the large barn without any other trees to compare it with, it just didn't look as huge as it is. It almost reaches the ceiling and is a bit big for our tree stand.

So, when my Ex arrived, we set up the tree - again - weighted it down with stones from the garden and got ourselves tangled up in the light chain, at which point my sister-in-law and here family entered the house (I had left the door open when I collected the stones).

In the end, my brother-in-law and I sent off the rest of the family to church, decorated the tree and the presents underneath, set the table (yes, I hadn't managed that in time either) and finished preparing dinner. With all that done, we were actually ready early and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee while re-installing the TV set, which had returned that day from repairs.

Now, to the card. This one is an idea I have seen on the Internet in many variations, with the single snowflake and a simple sentiment strip.  I created a watercolour gradient back ground and adhered the silver embossed snowflake on top, then I added the sentiment with foam tape.

Wishing you a fantastic new years celebration and all the best for 2020

Shopping our Stash: #410 Happy Holidays

Thursday 19 December 2019

Mass producing Christmas cards

Hello crafty friends, 

can you believe it, only four days to go - well in Germany at least. We celebrate on Christmas eve. 
I am in full fledged panic mode by now. With all the drama and action this December, I am far behind, even though I started out so well in November. 

Today, I sent the last packages out and bought the postage stamps for all my Christmas cards. Those however, I didn't have finished, so I decided to mass produce the final 18 cards I still needed tonight. 

The idea was inspired by a card I once saw in a shop and the design is very clean and simple. 

I started by cutting the white panels and stamping the beautiful long sentiment in the lower 3rd. Then I cut slits in the panels, just below and above the sentiment, where I could tuck in my little stars. 

The stars themselves are cut from different Christmas patterned papers I collected over the years. After I had tucked all of them in, I created and scored all the card bases from light grey card stock and adhered the panels down flat.

With this batch, I didn't take the time to embellish the envelopes, as I would usually do. But I did pick red envelopes, for all the cards that had red stars. All the other cards had to make do with white.

There is still so much work. We are celebrating at our place, so there is cleaning cooking and more gift wrapping to do. Not to mention that all the cards still have to be written and posted. That bit I must achieve tomorrow. 

And I still have to create a batch of Birthday cards, that I mean to give to my wonderful friend and landlady. I already have the design in mind for those. I am planning to re-use the design of this years Birthday invitations using Birthday sentiments and more colour combinations. All cards will be similar, so they make 4a nice set, but each one a little different.

And there is another friend, who I know could use a set of Birthday cards to give away. But she was invited to our Birthday party, so I can't use the same idea for her set. I have to come up with something different. 
But at least those gifts will be handed over in person, so I still have the week-end.

And right after Christmas, I will start making Christmas cards for next year, while I am still in the mood. Seriously, I did that a few years back, and it was brilliant. And I still want to use all my lovely Christmas supplies, that I didn't get to use enough this year.

So, I do hope you are are not as stressed as me, but if you are, tell me about it, so I don't feel so alone.

Hugs and kisses

P.S. Sorry for the bad pictures, I had to take them in poor lighting. 

CAS on Friday: #170 Christmas
Shopping our Stash: #410 Happy Holidays

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Cherry blossom thanks

Hi Crafters,

to balance my very sad news, I'd like to  tell you something more cheerful today, even though to me it feels bitter sweet right now.

Some of you may know, that my girls and I moved house just before Christmas last year. Our  landlady lives downstairs from us, in the same house, and we instantly connected. She is a lovely person and she and I have a lot in common for example our cats. As you know, my girls and I had three cats (sadly now only 2), among them our red tom Benny. She too had a red tom called Benny. We laughed a lot, when we first found that out. 

Unfortunately her Benny disappeared last summer without a trace and all of us were heartbroken. We have been searching everywhere, asking around, but he simply didn't turn up anymore. 

On Friday the 6th (St. Nicolas day) I received a phone call from the pet registration agency, asking for my landlady. She had given them my number, when she went on holiday. The little stray has actually turned up, happy, healthy and for some reason well fed, at the other end of town. Nobody knows where he's been in the past 6 months, but a lovely family noticed him and had his chip read out.

I immediately called my landlady and she point blank refused to believe it, until she had proof, for fear of raising false hope. Since she couldn't leave work at the time, I went to pick him up right after I finished that call. Now he is back home, dozing on the oven bench, his favourite spot. And all of us are so happy for the two of them. Since he has the same name and colouring as our Benny, we almost feel like he's ours as well.

So, to go with our St. Nicholas wonder, I picked a thank you card for today's post. It's a very simple one layer card. I coloured the cherry blossoms with Polychromos pencils and added a Thank you sentiment. 

Wishing you a nice day

Tuesday 17 December 2019

Beloved Nala

Hey Crafters, 

I've been absent a few days, I am morning the loss of my beloved Nala. 
As I wrote last week, I went to the vet again the same day but she couldn't save her life. I am still very shaken and would rather not tell the whole story.

So I am concentrating on her life, rather than her death. 

She was a lovely girl, very small, slim and agile with a small round head and huge green eyes. Her fur was long and silky and wonderfully coloured in bright red, black and white. 

She came to us, from a family who couldn't cope with her liveliness. Nala was a very playful kitty and she demanded to be played with. It took here merely a few weeks to realise, that chewing cards and papers was the way to get my full attention. She loved to play fetch with hair ties, chasing them across the living room and returning them to me. I don't remember how we discovered it, but it was nothing we taught her, she started that herself.

I know, this could be dangerous, but hair ties was the only thing she didn't try to eat. Otherwise she quickly taught us to clear away all kinds of plasticy things, like decorative ribbon, balloons etc. She's chew and swallow all of that, if she got hold of it.

 A very agile cat, there was no spot in the house she couldn't reach. My little queen loved sitting up high on some shelf and look down on her subordinates. 

But she was also a very cuddly cat, when she wanted to. She used to sleep on my laptop while I worked, every once in a while getting up and demanding to be loved and groomed. Then she would curl up on my lap until she had enough. Seeing the empty spot there breaks my heart.

I still cannot understand how that could have happened. 

I hope you'll have a good day, despite my sad story and leave you with a few more pictures of my little girl - actually, I may have overdone it  a bit. 

Love Ela


Thursday 12 December 2019

Happy 4th Birthday

Hi Crafters, 

today is my niece's 4th Birthday. Happy Birthday sweetheart, even if you can't read it!

I coloured the little fairy, which is a customisable sticker, not a stamp with Polychromos pencils. I haven't used them in a while, so I kept it simple. 

Then I die cut the numbers from white card stock and picked an alcohol marker that looked very similar to the dress. I actually coloured the number 4 three times. I got a dark smudge on the first, with the second I realised, that the colour wasn't right so I re-did it again, using two markers for a tiny bit of a gradient. I also created a sentiment strip with the same markers and stamped "we congratulate" on it. 

When I fuzzed about the assembly, I thought it was too much white, especially since it's for a little girl, not an adult. So I added soft pink ink blending behind the fairy. Now I am very happy with the result and hope my little Sweety will like it as well. 

We'll be visiting her to celebrate later today. 

Truthfully, while I am usually always happy to see my litle nieces, this time I would rather stay home with my sick cat. I am desperate. She still won't eat and by now she's only skin and bones. This is not an old cat and until last week she has been healthy. But now I seriously fear she might starve in front of my eyes.
I am seeing the vet again later today.

Keep your fingers crossed for my feline baby, please


Wednesday 11 December 2019

Another coffee rainbow

Hi Crafters, 

how do you feel today? 

I most certainly feel like coffee. Unfortunately there is none in the house.

Our French exchange students have been with us almost a week now and they are very lovely girls. Very friendly and open, really nice. But communication is difficult. The 4 girls have been learning each others languages for only 2 years, and while I have studied French for 5 years at school, that was really long ago. I am rather shocked how much of it is gone. It's enough for the basic stuff, but not enough to keep a proper conversation up. I really wish they'd speak English, that would have been so much easier. Tomorrow morning they are leaving already.

My cat has had X-ray done yesterday, but the vet didn't find the cause for her lack of appetite. The has has painkillers and antibiotics again, but she still won't eat. She's always been small and slight, but now she's skin and bones. I am getting desperate.

To the card:
Since I created this card and found my cactus stamp was slightly too big - or maybe just placed wrong - I was looking at my stash on the look out for the perfect image. And I found it or rather them. They are three different to-go coffee cups. I think I will have to create that card again with these. 

But today, I developed the idea into a different direction. I wanted the grey cups, the fading shadows and a prominent rainbow cup. But instead of a rectangle I created a line of cups, popping up the bright rainbow cup on foam tape. 

But that was a bit blank, so I added some stencilled coffee rings before I adhered the bright cup. This was better, but I still wanted more colour. Since the sentiment was still missing, I decided to create a rainbow strip and stamp a simple sentiment on it and stick it across the grey cups. 

Unfortunately I used a sentiment that turned out slightly too large for my taste, so I cut it down. Not sure I like how I solved this, maybe I should just have created another rainbow strip and re-done it with a smaller sentiment. I do have lots of Happy Birthday sentiments after all. 
Even though I never seem to have the perfect sentiment for what I am creating at any given time. 

So, that's it for me, I'm off to make coffee hot chocolate. 

Monday 9 December 2019

Joy to the world

Hey Crafters, 

how is life treating you? 
I've had a bit of a close shave yesterday,  I fell down a steep flight of stairs and I am feeling rather sore and bruised today. My right leg and shoulder are hurting a lot. I was still quite far up when I slipped, and there was nobody around at the time -  all the things that could have happened... I am a lucky girl to have gotten away with nothing worse!

Also I am still worried sick about my kitty, who still won't eat much. I've been at the vet almost every day now and at times she looks more agile and less sick, but her refusal to eat is no good sign at all. Tomorrow we will do X-Rays. I wish she'd start eating tonight.

Today, I have a very simple Christmas card for you. 

I coloured  the kitty with my ZIG markers and cut her out. Then I added just a little light blue ink blending to the centre of the card base and stamped a few of the musical notes that are included in the set in the same light blue. You can barely see them in the photo.

Last I added the sentiment in deep black and popped up the kitty on foam tape. 

I should have centred her more between the two parts of the sentiment, but then I don't think anyone will complain. 

Have a wonderful day


Creative Friday: #245 Soon it's Christmas
Simon says Stamp:Traditional Christmas
Shopping our Stash: #410 Happy Holidays

Sunday 8 December 2019

Feeling ruff

Hi Crafters,

I hope you are not feeling ruff today.

I  actually do find life a bit rough at the moment. My cat has been sick with pancreatitis for several days now and  I am worried sick, since she won't eat and she is so skinny anyway. 

To go with my general mood, I created this card for the Live like Roo card drive. I still have to send of my package, which means it'll certainly be late in arriving, but I simply didn't manage any faster, with everything going on. 

Have a wonderful Sunday

Friday 6 December 2019

Beary Christmas

Hi Crafters, 

how is it? 
We are mostly fine, our exchange students arrived yesterday, and I am finding that my French is very, very rusty. Conversations are difficult, but they are nice girls, and I hope we'll get more fluent with practise. 

On the sad side, I am rather worried about my little feline girl. She is sick and won't eat and since she is so skinny anyway, that is very worrying. We'll see the vet again later today, which she hates. She is a darling at all times, but at the vet she gets really aggressive. They had to sedate her yesterday, just to take a bit of blood for testing. Poor thing.

Today, I'd like to share another mother-daughter collaboration. 

While I was searching for a specific card panel I made weeks ago, I found a background that my daughter made and discarded. She used water colours for the sky (I think) and ink blending for the snowy hills. 

So with the background already done, I just added a bit of dark blue ink blending around the edge of the sky, to create a more dramatic vignette and splattered on some gouache for snow. 

While this dried, I searched my stash of images and found this ice bear, which I thought was perfect. I just needed to cut it out. 

Then I added the sentiment on the dried panel with gold embossing. 

It roughly says (in German):
Dance with the snowflakes
Build a snowman
Stomp hearts in the snow  
Eat loads of cookies
Sing loudly and
Look into the winter sky."

I think it's perfect for the scene, though a bit optimistic in terms of the amount of snow we usually get where I live. 

A slight dusting of snow usually will cause my daughters to jump for joy, with "all the snow" and all the drivers to crawl and realise they still didn't change their tyres. Compared to when and where I grew up, I can only smile at that. 

Anyhow, I love how this card turned out. 

Wishing you a brilliant day


Cards 4 Guys: #234 Christmas Critters
Shopping our Stash: #410 Happy Holidays
Simon says Stamp: Traditional Christmas
Stempelgarten: #87 Christmas