Saturday, 27 July 2013

A guillotine, not just for the French Revolution!

   Hello all who stumble by, it’s time to “lock and load”, so grab your crafting tools, a brew and join me. 

   First of all please excuse my poor photography I am trying to improve, honest. 
   Whichever craft you indulge in, it should be something you enjoy and bring you pleasure. I started out trying cross stitch,
0ne and only completed project

which I enjoyed for a short while but I think, that maybe, I’m too impatient to be any good at it. It requires soooooooo much time, prior to obtaining ANY results!
 see, massive amounts of patience required
Keeping Winnie the Pooh company!

In fact, I got soooooooo fed up that I didn’t even finish the last one I started. Poor Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore have taken up residence in a box under my bed- whilst I don’t think Eeyore minds, Winnie the Pooh is going stir crazy, with only my good intention's and promises to finish the pesky cross stitch, for company!

This is how far I got
This is how it should have looked!

    So, as you may be able to guess, I moved on from cross stitch with much relief. I tried and failed at embroidery. I found I am not much good at free hand drawing and hated scratch art (nails on a blackboard sound better!). Model making? Not my cup of tea at all but the kids like it! Then I stumbled across paper crafts such as card making, scrap booking and art and a whole world of fun opened up.  

      When I first started making cards I would often pick over every little detail, being very critical of whether something was slightly off centre or that the proportions of a square, that I had hand cut, weren’t exact, repositioning items.

                           Both of these have lots of faults and crooked lines! Not a happy crafter!

I have learnt over the years that no-one else knows how my cards are “supposed” to look, so I have stopped being so critical of my own designs (well mostly, nobody’s perfect!). After all, crafting is  supposed to be enjoyable not rocket science!  

    Because I don’t have any fancy gizmo’s (does a guillotine count, nah!) I hand cut all my shapes with scissors (yes, ok and a guillotine) and whilst I dream of Father Christmas bringing me fancy gadgets and equipment, it’s not really necessary. Beautiful cards CAN be created without die-cutting machines or expensive equipment. The items I have forked out, small amounts for, are a guillotine- otherwise my straight lines resemble the Pennines, which is not a good look on a card; a heat gun (not really an actual gun, thank god, because this is England and that's just false advertising!) and a self sealing cutting mat which is exactly what it says on the tin and a selection of scissors (not just for cutting hair or killing florists Hot Fuzz style). If you are wondering, which tools to purchase to get you stated, I would recommend starting with these as they are inexpensive, easy to take in and out of a cupboard (high priority in my house ) and you will always be able to use them (rather than just admire them).
My trusty guillotine
Scissors galore 
   The types of card I choose to make on any given day varies greatly depending on my mood, who is going to receive it and what the occasion is. Family and friends are the easy ones, the ones where I know what I want the card to look like, before I begin. When you know someone well, you know what they like, which makes it simpler to pick a theme.

My 13 year old Olivia likes pretty, girlie things with an eye for design and a love of One Direction but it would be impossible to squash Harry Styles into a card! So her cards often include tatty teddy, butterflies and I keep her sweet, fun nature in mind when I design a card for her. Eve however, has a kick ass side and loves princesses, super heroes, werewolves and vampires. In fact if I didn’t know how well adjusted and wonderful she was, I might be very concerned about her and her vivid imagination. She has an eye for drawing and in the past has drawn beautiful human-eating pyramids (not man-eating as they are equal opportunity killers!) and vampire and werewolf filled castles with the princesses locked up in the tower for dinner!  Anyway, as such, the things I make for her differ in colour and theme from Olivia’s. Try and bear in mind, your family and friends loves and it should be easy to find your starting point.  Are they floral and butterfly lovers like me or haters of soft colours like my friend, who would probably vomit if I gave her such a card. Here is the actual card I made her:

                                      The non vomit inducing card!
   At the minute the cards I love to make aren’t really cards in the traditional sense. They are more of a keepsake, a very large (measuring 30cm x 30cm when closed and an awful lot more when open) but beautiful keepsake! I recently made these for 2 of my close friends and work colleagues, when they changed jobs (although heaven only knows where they put them!). This is the first one:

2nd one

  See, I warned you about the photography! Again no fancy gizmo’s or gadget’s were used, just card, paper, scissors and my trusty guillotine, proving that lovely card's can be created without spending a fortune. Beware of blog’s and websites telling you different, there is usually an alternative motive. With the plethora of ideas available on the internet, you don’t even need your own imagination, you can develop one! I often find, people incorrectly believe, they are unable to make a card or craft, don’t let that prevent you from having a go, you may find you enjoy it.

   Craft, Have Fun and Enjoy.  Louise x

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