Crafting with Jo....

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

Monday, 20 June 2016


Hello everyone.. and Merry Christmas!

I know it's not exactly Christmas, but here, in creating world, it has been for the past few weeks as we've been trudging away through the snow (aka debris on the craft floor) to bring you some fantastic samples using the Christmas Pick of the Week Rococo dies. Have you seen them?

Oh my word..... they are right up my alley! Cute, sweet.... what more could you ask for? So today, I thought I would share my little Reindeer with you.

Isn't he just the sweetest little guy? I think he's adorable, but I did leave him until last to work with him because I knew I would be using him alot if I didn't. 

For the background of the card I used one of our older dies, but you could use corners, stamps, papers, anything you wish really... but I wanted to keep the colours quite neutral. I added a layer of green to the background as I was using this in my front panel of the card. 

As you can see from the close up here, I cut out the little guy from darker brown cardstock, then stuck him onto lighter card and cut around. I also stuck another layer onto darker card to cut out the mouth area and the feet. I paper pieced the scart using bits of green and red.

I do love a little white gel ink too on my cutey characters... and this one didn't escape it. So, he got the obligatory eye highlight and litle highlights on his scarf, feet, nose and ears. I think it just adds a little brightness.

I hope you like the card... it's quite an easy, quick one to make... but I'm sure you've seen lots of our little Reindeer this week. I love him, and I'm sure you do too!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Thank you for coming along to create.... a little tutorial.

Well Good Morning everyone... 

How are we all? Enjoying the lovely weather? It's been a tad hot for me, but still nice to be able to get the fresh air and sunshine around the garden. 

Today, I just want to say thank you so much for all the lovely folks that came along to Bolton Arena to visit the Hunkydory show, and came along to spend a little time on our stand to do the workshop to create this card. 

Everyone was so lovely - even though the temperature went up and up throughout the day - it was great to spend some time with you all for a chat, a laugh and to share our different crafting experiences. 

Anyway, here is the card that we made, and we chose to focus on the Sew Pretty dies. So here is a little step by step for those who would like to recreate the card. I hope you enjoy it.  

Firstly, you will be using the corner dies to cut out of white cardstock. You will need four of these, and you can back them onto a colour card of your choice. I decided to back them onto black, but if you are using a black layer underneath you won't need to do this piece. 

Cut around the outside edges of the diecut with your scissors - there is no verso edge with these dies, but it is so easy to trim out. 

Next, prepare your flower.You can choose to use either of the Posie dies - Perfect Posies or Tangled Posies - to do this.   You will cut two of the flower dies and cut them out as shown. On the first one cut out the very middle, on the second one cut out the inside section. This is so we can layer them up to add some dimension. Layer onto your cardstock and cut around the outside edge to give it some colour. 

Now is sticking and creating time. Attach your corners - opposites first, so when the corners cross over it looks nice and neat. 

Take your white card blank, cut from an A4 card scored in half and trimmed square to 14.5cm x 14.5cm. Your black layer will be trimmed to 14 x 14cm and the corners stick on top of this. 

Here is your finished background. Just perfect to place your finished flower into the centre. 

Cut out some layers of cardstock to match in with your chosen colour theme, to fit into the centre of the card. You can cut at 8cm, 7.5cm square and 7cm square and mount these into the middle.

To finish, place your little flower in the centre. Add a sentiment if you choose to... decorate with Nuvo drops.... add a gem or two for a bit of sparkle - the choice is yours!

I hope you enjoyed the little tutorial and manage to follow it okay. Any questions, just ask!

Shopping List 

Tonic Studios Sew Pretty - Admiral Arches 1222e
Tonic Studios Sew Pretty - Perfect Posies - 1220e 
Tonic Studios Sew Pretty - Tangled Posies - 1224e

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Creating a shaped card blank from your Tonic verso dies

Good evening all...

Isn't time flying this week? Blimey... it doesn't seem two minutes since it was the start of the Bank Holiday and now it's all over, colder weather has come in and things have gone haywire!

I've had a few appointments this week with the chiropractor to try to sort out my shoulder. I really should learn not to slip and land on it shouldn't I? But it's finally getting sorted after putting up with it since early February and it's definately less painful. So, sorry for being a bit absent this week... but things went a bit bonkers.

So... what do I have for you today... well, it's another unedited video - a very quick one to show how to make a card blank using your shaped dies.

**Silly me - forgot that I was using a heavier weight card and when I went to put the lattice in the base it didn't cut perfectly. Just be aware that you need to watch the weight of your card, or at least turn it to get a good cut.**

Enjoy the video, I hope you find it a little bit helpful. xx


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

How to extend your Patterned Panel dies to fill a card

Hello all......

Sorry I have been AWOL again, but there's been a speck of bother in the garden that needed sorting this past week. I have waged war on the slimy snails that are munching on my 'cumbers in the greenhouse and I've stripped it out completely - everything - and checked, rechecked and repositioned everything back in to evict the little blighters!

They've munched my dahlias, my lupins, my cucumbers, chili's and peppers and now this is war....! So out they went, into the wildnerness (aka the garden!) to live happy little lives and get stalked by our springer, Holly! I don't hurt them because I actually think they're really cute.

So... excitement of the eviction over, replanting and shuffling done in the garden, frog watching in the pond complete, I am here to share another little tutorial video with you.

This one is to show you how to extend your patterned panel dies to fill a card front. I used an A5 size sheet, but you can extend the pattern as large as your die cut maching will allow. I have shared a few hints and tips along the way, but I haven't edited the video, so grab some ear plugs if you need to. Haha.


This is the finished card. You can see that I trimmed down all the sides so they were nice and even, and mounted it onto a chocolate base card. The little dots along the centre were the leftovers from the die cut.

I hope you liked todays tutorial. I will try to get back tomorrow with another.
Until then...
Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Creating glittery backgrounds using die cut leftovers

Good morning my crafting friends...

How are we all this morning? I've a little tutorial for you today as it's something that I keep getting asked about. It's how to create a glittery card background using the leftovers from your die cuts.

It's really easy to do, but I didn't have time to edit the video to make it more smooth running... hope you find it okay. xxx

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Over thinking.... Just a little something to think about.... !

A little personal post on here - because I do like to share things I have found useful along the way...

Just like many people out there  I too was diagnosed with Post Natal depression many years ago, which I believe never goes away! In fact, I would go so far as to say if it wasn't for my hubby, I probably wouldn't have been here today - knife at my wrists and not thinking straight was one of the smaller problems I had... just shortly before I got diagnosed. Thanks to his love and support along my journey of PND, I recovered as best I could, but there was always something there that didn't feel right.

It reared its ugly head again several years later and even though to me I was okay, the signs were there that I wasn't. It wasn't as bad as before, but it was there.

Years came and went, and unfortunately so did the trials and tribulations of living with depression which came in episodes, and also the anxiety, the panic attacks and general feelings of worthlessness. It's something I feel people struggle with if you have ever had depression - it's all to easy to sink back into it... and the main culprit to start it off? Overthinking.

I overthink most things if I'm having one of my bad days - from when the phone rings to reading an email in the 'wrong way'. I worry constantly about what I do, am I right, is it wrong? Are people trying to put me down (what DID they mean by saying good morning ... or why do they want to know if I'm okay..?!) But overthinking in whatever form it is drives me absolutely bonkers (but only on my bad days!) But it's not only overthinking, it's believing what you think is true... what people tell you, (am I really like that? Are they really like that? They or I must be because I feel uncomfortable with things...!)

On my good days, which I'm proud to say is now more often than the bad (and I'm sure going through early menopause helped this tremendously!!) I don't worry about hardly anything. Take me as I am. I'm me... like me or don't like me... I also made the decision to change a few major things in my life that were triggers to how I felt, and these have been positive.  I will do my best to help anyone with anything and I'm happy. For the first time in years, I feel more ME than I have, like, forever!

So... the purpose of the post?

Well, I was reading an extract from one of my favourite people to have got me more into positive thinking, and attached to an email was this... below... and I thought, if you are anything like me, you may just find it useful too.

I hope you do... and I hope you are having a Good Day today. I know I am. Lots of love xxxx


Do You Fall Into the Trap of Overthinking?

I was looking up something in Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky’s excellent book, The How of Happiness, and I came across an interesting passage. (I’d marked it, so clearly I’d read it before, but I didn’t remember it well.)
Many of us believe that when we feel down, we should try to focus inwardly and evaluate our feelings and our situation in order to attain self-insight and find solutions that might ultimately resolve our problems and relieve unhappiness. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, I, and others have compiled a great deal of evidence challenging this assumption. Numerous studies over the past two decades have shown that to the contrary, overthinking ushers in a host of adverse consequences: It sustains or worsens sadness, fosters negatively biased thinking, impairs a person’s ability to solve problems, saps motivation, and interferes with concentration and initiative. Moreover, although people have a strong sense that they are gaining insight into themselves and their problems during their ruminations, this is rarely the case. What they do gain is a distorted, pessimistic perspective on their lives.
One of the tensions within happiness — at least for me — is the tension between constructive attempts at greater self-knowledge and pointless rumination. Once I started paying more attention to my habits of thinking, I began to do a better job of refraining from overthinking. When I find myself thinking in circles, I find an area of refuge, say, or I re-read one of my favorite works of children’s literature — my favorite emotional comfort food. Or, if it’s nightime, I go to bed early. Things really do look better after a good night’s sleep, and often something that had me agitated the night before seems much less worrisome the next morning.
Have you found any helpful strategies to keep yourself from overthinking?

Floral Faerie

You know those days when nothing seems to go the way you planned? Well, I had one of those today.... I don't seem to have had a minute to catch up today - we were expecting a delivery that never came until early evening (it should have been before 11am), I had a run to the vets with two fluffy puss cats for a check up, a little bit of seed planting and repotting in the greenhouse, dinner cooking, and all the other stuff that generally makes up a lost day! I've also got a couple of distant learning courses I need to get on with, so time really is short today! 

However, I did want to come on and share this card with you tonight before I settle down. It's another of the fantastic Double Detail dies and Stencil cards with the mousses... and I tried a bit of something different with this one. 

I chose my colour scheme first, which was to be blue and yellow, with a dash of black thrown in for the layering. I also knew I wanted to keep the design nice and simple to complement the fairy sat on the flower. 

I chose to create another inky background for this one as I had used my distress inks for the previous card. I went for a hilly view on this one and I fell in love with the design of the die as soon as I saw it, as I knew it would make just the perfect inner frame for a larger card.

The layers were cut first for the main part of the central section. I cut the die from black cardstock using the outer verso edge. I then took the inked cardstock and cut the area I needed from the outer edge too. These then layered together perfectly. 

I used bronze Nuvo mousse for the colouring of the main part of the fairy, and blended various lighter pastel mousses for the wings - a little bit of green, blue, lilac. I also used the stencil to add dimension to the die cut with the mousse as shown, varying the colours as I went around the frame. To do this, just ensure you apply small areas of mousse using a fine tool. 

Mount these fairy sections onto the main card once they are dry. I finished it off with a few little flower corners from the same die set - cut from green, then blue and sandwiched together to create perfect little blooms - and I applied small dots of Buttermilk Nuvo drops to accent the centres. 

It was really fun to get inky and grubby making the cards I've shown for the last two days... combining your card making materials to create something 'different' really makes it enjoyable. And maybe you can get to using all those things you put in a side drawer thinking you would never use them again once you start die cutting! 

As usual, here is your little shopping list of the main things you would need for the card. 

Tonic Studios  Double Detail frame die set - Floral Faerie - 1140E
Tonic Studios Double Detail stencil  - Floral Faerie - 1144E
Tonic Nuvo drops - Buttermilk - 652N
Tonic Nuvo embellishment mousse - various colours.
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