Crafting with Jo....

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

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.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Sweet Poppy

Hiya folks..... 

You know.... I thought I had shared this card with you lovely lot a while ago when the beautiful Mousses and Double Detail dies and stencils were on Create and Craft... but as I looked through my posts on here tonight, I realised I hadn't. So here it is. 

This little cutie is Poppy Hideaway, and isn't she absolutely adorable? 

I began my card by cutting out the silhouette in black cardstock, then running it through the machine with the embossing mat to bring out all the details of the die.

I chose a mousse that would highlight the embossing, so went for an indian gold colour, and with my finger tips, just applied some of the mousse carefully over the little raised areas. 

Once this was done, I needed to decide what I wanted to use behind the image, and what card base I wanted... now, knowing me being me... I couldn't decide, so took out my distress inks and made a sunset scene in the background. This was then cut out with the verso edge (outer edge) of the die so that it matched the outer edge of the silhouette perfectly. 

I chose to mount my sweet Poppy onto my "squircle" die, aka Twisting Veranda. I used colours that were in my inky background, so burnt oranges, blacks, greens etc. The sentiment was from the Miniature Moments sentiments. It was all that was needed - nothing too big I thought. 

You can see on the photo above, just how the frame of the double detail dies snuggle in with the twisting veranda perfectly. It was just as though it was meant to be....!

Righty-oh ... that's me about done for tonight me thinks... I will be back soon with another project for you ... so please check back soon. 

Until then... happy crafting xxx

Shopping List 

Tonic Studios Large Layering die set - Twisting Veranda 1113E
Tonic Studios Double Detail Poppy Hideaway die set - 1141E
Tonic Nuvo Embellishment Mousse - Indian Gold  - 802N
Tonic Studios Miniature Moments sentiments - Awesome Cool & Sweet 1240E
Distress inks

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Tonic Challenges ahead....

What a fantastical morning it is...

I've waited so long to tell you all about the Win and Tonic Challenge Blog we have at Tonic Studios, and along with a great Design Team on our blog, we hope to inspire you with lots of fantastic projects each month.

In addition to this, you can win a great prize or two too, courtesy of Tonic Studios!! There are some perfect layering dies up for grabs this month, along with some beautiful Nuvo Crystal and Glitter drops. A great addition to any craft room if I say so myself.

Please don't worry if you are a beginner, because this challenge is open to everybody and our winners will always be chosen at random.... how could we possibly choose from the beautiful creations we know you will be making???

There aren't too many rules, but please be aware of the few we have - you can find these in the sidebar of the blog... if you're stuck, just message us and we will be happy to help.

Without further ado, here is my card for this first Challenge, where our theme this month is Anything Goes. I decided to use our card blank dies to create the base layer, and my lacy edge was created using the Envelope dies. This was placed on top of the Romantic Cottage papers and topper was cut from the same set.

I finished it off with a large bow, a rose resin, and some Tonic Nuvo drops.

So... what are you waiting for? Get your thinking caps on with your Tonic stash, and make us a challenge card... but don't forget to upload it too. 

The winners will be announced on the 14th of the month, the day before we go live with the next Challenge... and your entries must be in by close of play on the 13th of the month to be entered. 

I - for one - can't wait to see all your wonderful creations.... so will be checking back regularly to see all your work... please feel free to follow my blog, and I can follow in return too. 

Happy crafting to each and every one of you. xx

Friday, 13 May 2016

My Life and Heart....

Good Morning readers... 

It's been another lovely week here, with a little rain but lots of warm and sunny weather. It definately helps to warm the cockles and get in the garden to do some work. The little pond now has a little gnome in residence (thanks to my daughter) so will keep the Froggie company. Haha. 

Card wise today, I thought I would share a little card I made a few weeks ago using the Double Detail Jewelled Crown and Sew Pretty 2 dies. I kept it quite simple, just using creams and purples, complete with a little bit of shading and embossing. 

Here's your How To... 

  1. cut out your four corners using your Sew Pretty 2 dies, and then cut out the Jewelled Crown from your purple card. 
  2. cut out a matt and layer using purple card cut to 7.25 inches square and cream card cut to 7 inches square. Use the outer edge (verso edge) of  the frame to cut out a cream layer for underneath. Dust around the edge of this with Seedless Preserves distress inks. 
  3. Emboss your cream card with an embossing folder and dust over edges with distress inks. 
  4. Glue the base layers of your card together. 
  5. With your frame, choose your sentiment and stamp into your frame onto the background. 
  6. Using your Double Detail stencil to match, apply your mousse into the purple top frame layer. Leave to dry. 
  7. Whilst your mousse is drying, attach your corner dies to the card as shown, crossing over the central sections. 
  8. Glue the edges of your outer frame to the base stamped layer to create a little curve and dimension. Add to your card using 3D foam pads. Glue a bow to the top of the frame. 
  9. Finish your card off with some Nuvo Drops to the Sew Pretty dies and also the frame. 

This is a closer look to how the little frame will look when added to your card. You can see it only has a little dimension, but it looks better than being completely flat I think. 

On the photo below, you can see the dimension of the Mousse on the card, it adds that finishing touch and a little bit of sparkle, which is what we all need on our cards!

I hope you like today's card. I enjoyed making it, it was something different but came together just as I had imagined. 

For those who would like it, here is your Shopping List. 

Tonic Studios Sew Pretty Twisted Ivy 1221E
Tonic Studios Double Detail Jewelled Crown die set 1143E
Tonic Studios Double Detail Jewelled Crown stencil 1147E
Tonic Studios Nuvo embellishment mousse - Cosmic Brown 810N
Tonic Studios Nuvo Crystal drops - Copper Penny 654N
Heart Lattice embossing folder
Tim Holtz distress ink - Seedless Preserves

Two more parchment cards...

Howdy all... 

Today, I thought I would share two more cards I found on my computer that are parchment craft.  These were made again, round about 2011 I think, and this first one was just to have a play (hence the awful border! What was I thinking!!)

The christmas tree was a Christine Coleman pattern from what I remember, and the borders were added afterwards. I loved this tree and made the card around four times in total. Needless to say it hasn't been made since. lol. 


This butterfly card was again made for a swap and the repeated pattern was one I saw in a magasine at the time. I decided to go monotone, but to show it up was placed on lilac card.

Again, I loved doing the embossed and gridwork but the colouring... hey.... I could take it or leave it.

To me, parchment craft is all about the gridwork and the whiteness, white on white... that's the simplicity of it's beauty.


I will be back with a few normal cards in the next few days.... but I hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past. 


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