Crafting with Jo....

... a little bit of life, a little bit of craft...

Saturday, 28 March 2015

NEC weekend workshops and a little tutorial

Last week went by in a bit of a hurry!

It was a bit of a panic to start with, as you may know that my little buddy and partner in crime, Jodie, had been admitted into hospital. So, off I toddled to the NEC on the Wednesday afternoon, only to be asked to cover shows at Create and Craft. Well, anything for Jodie, so off I went and was introducing you all to the new Sentiment panel dies... they are just beautiful and I had a great day. 

On the Thursday evening, I drove back to the NEC to resume the workshops that my very lovely buddy, Alison, had taken over doing at short notice. Bless her, she drove down from Wales from the Office to cover for me. That's what Team Tonic do.... we look out for each other. And what a team we are!

Anyways... enough waffle, and here's my post for today. This is the lovely Cheremane who has been helping us out at the workshops this past couple of weeks, and as you can see, the NEC show was so busy, and we had full workshops for the days we were there. 

Can you see the new Tonic machine... I tell you, it's AWESOME!!! I love it. And this weekend, at the Excel in London, they are completely in full swing on the tables... YES! A table full of orange Tangerines for the lovely customers to play with... what more could you ask for eh? 

Doesn't it look bare without the customers? lol... it's so funny being there before and after hours.. it's very strange. Very quiet, and if I'm honest, just a tad messy! 

Now, here's one for the photo album too.... here is Sharon, Cheremane and our little new friend, Ron. He lives with Julie, who owns Art and Glitter Greetings.. but she needed us to monkey-sit whilst she was working, so of course, we had to oblige. He settled in well, if I say so myself. Haha. 

So. What did we get upto making... well, this is the sample that people used as inspiration to create their own cards. We were working with the Tonic Cameo Creatives dies, and they are really lovely if you haven't seen them. There's a little tutorial on how to quickly make the central panel, and the background is simply matted and layered up. 

Firstly, the paper packs we used are also made to coordinate with the Cameo dies.... you see the little flowers at the sides? Well, they match up perfectly with holes in the dies... and make lovely background papers too. 

The border strips in the pack come in sets of two, with two outside edges, a straight one and a scallop edge one, and also you get the cameo cut outs for the shapes. You can choose to cut the holes into the card, or into the paper and layer up on top. 

So... start by placing your strip die onto your piece of card. Run it widthways onto a piece of A4 and you will get a perfect top and bottom border. 

Once the centre panel has been cut out, you will notice the centres of the frame are still intact. The seperate dies enable  you to choose an aperture shape that you like. 

Now, put the border edge onto your strip, leaving a small border along the edge. Cut both sides the same. 

Stick your panel onto a piece of contrast cardstock. Use the border edges to recut your shaping, or simply cut a 4.2cm section of card and stick to the back of your strip. 

Choose your aperture shape from the ones in the pack. and cut out your three shapes through both pieces of card. 

You can now take your paper and layer your border over the flower shapes at the side. Trim the paper to size, and stick into place behind your apertures. Lovely eh?

Now, your strip is complete to create your layer onto the top of the card above. 

Below is another sample of the same type of card, but simply using the aperture shapes to cut your panels from the paper, and layering up on top with foam pads. 

I hope you like the two cards, and are inspired to create something similar with your Cameo Creative dies..... I personally love them. So many different things you can do with them, and indeed, many of the crafters that we had come to the workshops did just that... they changed how they did the layering, how they cut the apertures, and how the cards looked. Simply beautiful. 

Products used for the projects

Cardstock available from Payperbox

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Busy busying......

It's been a busy time here at the House of Austin. New kitchen, Painters and decorators, workshops, TV shows and project sorting...... the list has seemed endless!

However. We are now - sort of - back on the straight and narrow, and are looking onto tomorrow morning and a quickish run down to the NEC in Birmingham to do a full four days of Tonic Workshops.

Helping me over the four days will be Sharon and Cheremane. I have had Sharon with me for a while but I am sure you will all welcome Cheremane to the team, just as you have Sharon.

I thought I would leave you with a quick pic of our crazy little Shazbot that was taken at the SECC shows in Glasgow. Xxxx

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Beautiful florals

How are we? Did you manage to catch the Pick of the Day last week? 

Tonic released a new set of dies called the Entwined floral trellis, and they are absolutely beautiful. They have a backing plate and flowers that can be used within the dies, or out of the dies to create stunning flowers to match your projects. 

Today, I thought I would share a few of my little makes to give you an idea or two of ways to use them. If you didn't manage to grab the last few from Create and Craft with me today, I'm sorry you missed out this time... but hopefully we will get more stock in soon!

The card below was a simple card which uses the flowers on their own. I have taken a border from the strip dies and cut it at an angle along the card edge. I also cut a leaf and sentiment from green cardstock. 

The flower was cut from white and matching lilac card and 'twiddled' with the tweezers to create the shaped petals. 

Here is the flower in slightly more detail.  You can create different flowers and blooms by shaping with a ball tool instead of the tweezers. 

Here is another card using the same die. This is the Buttercup one, and you can see the flowers were rippled between my fingers to give them a crumpled look. 

I stuck to the cream and brown tones. 

The backing strip was cut first, before any of the border edges. I then placed the flowers into the strip that was cut and cut it again. This takes out the flower shapes, leaving the apertures in the panel as shown. The flowers were them placed onto the panel and finished with a little pearl centre. 

So... after a busy day at Create and Craft.... I am going to sit now with a lovely cup of tea and have a few minutes browsing a few blogs.... 

Whatever you're upto, enjoy it... Happy Crafting all xxx

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Really?? 2015???

Oh. My. Word.

Where has last year gone? Where did Christmas go????? I am sure some little Gremlin has been on my computer, on MY blog and deleted a few weeks worth of blog posts.... 

It surely can't be THAT long since I blogged can it????? My word... what can I say..... !

I am sorry to my followers out there - YOO HOO it's me!! It really is... but I'm sorry for my lickle bloglet, being sat here in Blogland all by itself, feeling unloved and alone for so long. But I'm back. 

And I want to show you lots of lovely things you can do with your Tonic dies... and I want to do more stamping... more creating.... just sharing lots of ideas with you all. 

So, today, without further ado, I want to share you a little tutorial on how to create this frame on the card. 

You know... I absolutely love the flexibility of the Idyllics dies, and the centre of the card is part of one of our sets. You can opt to use anything in there - an image plate from Crafters, Hunkydory, Kanban, whereever or whatever you choose. But I cut the centre panel from my idyllics set and used that. 

So... what do you do? 

Well, you take your layer of card that you want for your outside frame, cut it to size to fit onto your card and make a cross from top left to bottom right, and top right to bottom left. You can clearly see the marks I made with my embossing tool. 

This helps you to centralise the largest square layering die onto your card. If all corners of the die touch the lines, then you know you are square. Simple!

Next you can cut your pieces of cardstock to a width of your choice to fit around the frame. I personally measure the frame depth and add on about half inch extra. So, if I started with a 7 inch square card, used a 6 inch square to cut out the centre, my depth of the border would be 1 inch plus the extra half.... so strips would be 1.5 inches. You can make it deeper if you prefer, or narrower. 

You can see on the photographs above, you need four strips. The length of the strip is the length of your red piece of card. Cut your border into the centre of the cardstock as shown, then using your glass mat, you can add a 45 degree angle on the corners. You need two of each opposites for all the sides. 

Now, take one of your border strips, attach it to the frame of red card with the outside edges touching. The corners should fit perfectly. Then attach the other edges to create your square. 

Doesn't it look beautiful once it's all together? 

It looks more difficult than it actually is... honestly... give it a go!

The frame was then placed onto the card using dimensional pads to give it a lift. But before you stick it to the card, decide what you want in the centre. That way, if you choose to have a piece of patterned paper behind the frame, you can add it beforehand. It makes life easy. 

And the thing with Tonic dies, and crafting with me, is that it really  needs to be easy!

I hope you enjoyed the little tutorial .... I will be back with more inspiration tomorrow.... this is going to be a regular thing - I have missed my blogging..... and I hope you've missed me!

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Morning morning morning.....

How are we all?

Today, I am having Pyjama Day number 2.... well, I say day.. it usually means morning.. lazy mornings are the best. Coffee, craft and Pj's... what else could a girl want eh?

As you probably guessed, my little bloglet has become the victim of work again.. lol. I have been down at the NEC and upto Glasgow over the past few weeks, and I have another trip to Scotland planned for this weekend to demo for a lovely gent called Adrian, who owns McOyster Papercrafts in Fife. It is a Tonic demo, so I'm hoping to see some familiar faces from the Glasgow show, and have a jolly good day.

I have been asked about colouring over the past few weeks, as I have been taking a little Polkadoodles image card that I made with the Tonic bow die, and everyone tries to run off with it. So, I thought I would share a little video with you HERE that I created for my Youtube channel a while ago.. must be a few years ago as I was still wearing my old wedding ring, which no longer fits me.. lol. However, I hope you get the drift of it and can follow it well.

The other thing I want to share with you all is this little card I made for the Pick of the Week for Tonic.

The die I have used to create the felt flower is the Happy Birthday Pansy outer edge which I have also used to cut the layer it is fastened to.

I cut out a few layers, snipped into the flower and heated it up with a heat gun. It's not one of my new techniques, as I have done it previously when I worked for Docrafts, but to use the Tonic dies makes it alot easier and as you can see, adds another dimension to your cards.

The outer for the flower is the pansy frame which is one of the new dies that are on a 60 day exclusivity to Create and Craft. They have sold out though, so watch the site to make sure you grab them when they come back in. They are VERY popular and look beautiful.

I've teamed it up with a little butterfly border from the dies I have in my box, this one is Mazarine Blu and is one of my favourite dies... so pretty.

I hope you managed to get your dies before they sold out... and I hope you enjoy the little tutorial..

Have fun.... xxxx

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Lattice and a frame....

Evening folks.... 

As I promised earlier, I thought I would fire up the old laptop and upload the project I shared with you all earlier on Facebook. 

What have you all been upto this past week or so?  Yesterday was a bit of special time spent with the hubby for breakfast, and today has been a bit hectic with an emergency run to the vets with my son's cat... Ava... she was not very well at all, but with a little bit of TLC and a couple of injections, I think she will be back to her usual mischievous self again very soon!!

I've been off up to Glasgow this past week too,  helping to promote the Tonic brand and to show how easy it is to use the dies. I was working for the lovely Mel and Mark from Crafty Devils, and had a little visit from Jodie too, which was lovely. 

The weather wasn't too bad, and the SECC was only a very short walk from where we were staying, so all was good and I didn't get rained on until the day we came home. Bonus. 

I did make quite a few samples whilst we were up there, and I will try to share as many as I can over the next few days or so... but this is the card I wanted to share with you firstly. 

The base die was the lattice circle, the largest one, and it fits perfect into a 5.75cm square card. Great for those times when you want something simple.

The insert section was one of the keepsake frames and inserts. I just simply wanted to show how well they went together. I chose burgundy and white to add a touch of elegance, and plopped a bit of black card behind the lattice to make it pop.

There were quite alot of layers on the top of the card, but with the dies, you can opt to cut the design into the base, or layer as I have done.

I hope you like the card.... it was a very quick sample, so not really much to do on this... just cut, cut and cut a little more!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Lettice have a lattice....

Funny name... couldn't resist that. Sorry... lol. 

Yes. I'm back. After having a bit of a mini confidence crisis issue this past week, I thought I would get on my old bloglet and have a looksie to see what I can do to freshen it up. First things first though, I've decided to upload a few cards. 

You know what it's like, something throws a curveball and one minor thing (like no mirror in the bathroom!) turns everything into a major disaster, and suddenly life is in crisis, confidence is at an all time low and you consider throwing in the towel and getting a job at the local shop! Yes. That was me. It happens. 

Anxiety and panic attacks really aren't the best things to deal with from day to day, although the Citalopram tends to help quite a bit to keep things on track, although things get to me sometimes. I hate not being in control. I hate not having a mirror in my bathroom! My bathroom is having a MAJOR overhaul and is going to look stunning... and I can't wait.... !

Anway, those who suffer with anxiety and panic attacks on a day to day basis, know how this feels... something that happened in the past few years with work issues (which the least said about the better, although life is happier without that side of my day to day!) but still, onto my projects for today..... 

The card above is one of my all time favourites. I love the image, which is from the Hobby House, and I love the layout. Simple, stylish and clean. The dies I've used on here are the new Square trellis dies by Tonic and also the Verso dies, To my Little Star which as you can see work wonderfully together.

The card below features another of the Trellis dies....

This time, I have used another beautiful Hobby House topper and layered it up onto the top of the Circle Trellis dies... aren't they stunning? Instead of using white as the back or foreground, I chose to use colour on colour which I think sets out the colours in the image.

Now.... this card here features a few different dies.... again, I have chosen to use the beautiful Trellis square and I've used the fantastic Idyllics creations too.

The Idyllics are a new concept to Tonic, and consist of an embossing folder with coordinating dies. The one I've used on this card here is the Jasmine Dream. The elements of the Idyllics are the the background embossing on the white card, and also the band that goes across the centre of the card.

The squares were placed at the back and on top of the central band and on the top is the large lacy bow that I cut from the die. You get different inserts for the bow sections, so if you don't want it split as I have done, you can cut a whole lacy section.

Well... that feels better to have a little moan on my ol' bloglet.... even if it isn't easy typing with a plaster covering the big hole on my pointy finger... yes. I cut a chunk out of that too. And burnt my arm. And scratched my glasses. Aren't I doing well!!!!!

I will be sure to see you again soon to share more samples - providing nothing goes disastrously wrong!!! lol.
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