Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Pollyanna Pickering Snow & Ice Card

Hi everyone.

It's certainly a cold one this morning. Definitely one of those days when I'm glad I work from home and there is no car windscreen to defrost!

The card I've just finished making for this post is surprisingly appropriate as it features an image from the fabulous Pollyanna Pickering 'Snow & Ice' collection which was recently brought out by Creative Crafting World one of my favourite craft companies.

Pollyanna Pickering is one of the world's leading wildlife artists, also well-known for her conservation work. Pollyanna is incredibly generous in letting us crafters loose on her artwork which means we can make some incredible cards. The Snow & Ice range, especially the DVD-Rom, is literally packed with fantastic images of animals from cold climes including penguins, polar bears, tigers, wolves and pandas. What makes the images even more special is that Pollyanna travels all over the world to view these animals in their natural habitat and then paints them from her field sketches when she returns home.

She has some amazing stories to tell, including about the time she had to sit in a cage with a hungry polar bear prowling around outside so she could sketch it in relative safety! If you'd like to find out more about Pollyanna and see some of her fantastic paintings online, go to her website at http://www.pollyannapickering.co.uk

I decided that such special artwork deserved a special card design so I went for something a bit more 3D than usual. It's actually just a middle-stepper card turned on its side but the effect is very pleasing, especially if you put it near a table-lamp so that the light shines through the apertures. The image of the tiger cub being carried by its mother is actually an insert but it was too beautiful to hide away inside the card so I used it on the front instead. All the other bits of paper came from the same sheet and then I just added some die-cut embellishments from gold mirror card and a few gems. As the lovely Lynda Chapman from CCW is always saying, with artwork this good, you don't really need much else.

Stay warm!  

Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2014

Monday, 17 November 2014

Inspirational Easel Plaque

Hi everyone.

As usual, I seem to have left this week's blog post until the very end of a long hard working week so apologies if it's not exactly full of wit and wisdom.

It's been a very busy week on both the writing and crafting front but I've also not exactly been firing on all cylinders. I blame November. Although I like winter, November seems such a dreary month and a bit of a drudge to get through. I've certainly been sleeping for England this week or perhaps I'm turning into a doormouse!

Sometimes, when your "get up and go" has gone out for lunch, even the simplest craft projects can take twice as long as normal. Maybe launching a new product this week wasn't the best idea I've ever had as there were definitely a few teething troubles! I got there in the end though and here is the first in a new range of craft makes that I'm calling "inspirational easel plaques". I think they would make ideal Christmas presents, providing inspiration on your desk or mantlepiece all year round.

This one is the large version and has one of my favourite quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson printed on it. "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared with what lies within us."

The background comes from Natural Landscapes which is one of my favourite Daisytrail digikits and although you probably can't see it on the photo, the added diamond glitter really makes those trees sparkle.

Maybe I should put this one up on my own desk to help get me through the rest of November!

Happy crafting.

Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2014

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Remembrance Sunday 2014 Scrapbook Page

Hi everyone.

I hope you've enjoyed your fireworks this week, assuming you had some and that any nervous pets are now recovering. I must admit I'm very glad that they are (hopefully) over for the time being. As I think I've mentioned before, fireworks are not exactly on my list of favourite things.

Today is a very important day being Remembrance Sunday. It is of course particularly significant this year as 2014 marks both the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. I have been researching my paternal grandfather's WWI war record recently as I knew very little about what he did between 1915 when he joined up and 1918 when he was demobbed. I found out a huge amount from the internet and now have a much clearer idea of when and where he served.

Both my grandfathers survived both world wars but as we know, many thousands and thousands didn't. I knew I would be asleep during the two minute's silence this morning so instead, I made a digital scrapbook page earlier this week as my tribute, particularly to those who died in WWI.

The photo came from my family history archive but unfortunately I'm not sure who it is, although the date on the back is 1918. I used a digital punch to add the black poppies with the spiked fronds as I thought it looked a bit like barbed wire. The white punched flower represents peace and the "blood-red" sky is actually an enlarged poppy embellishment. The text I've chosen comes from the famous poem For The The Fallen by Laurence Binyon which was published in 1914.

Lest we forget...

Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2014

Monday, 3 November 2014

Jayne Netley Mayhew Autumn Card

Hi everyone.

So it's officially autumn now. Where has this year gone? Autumn used to be my favourite season but since the nation became obsessed with fireworks and I went off Christmas, it's now spring. Bring it on!

Having said that though, autumn is probably the best season to craft in as you can't beat those gorgeous autumn colours. I love looking out on my garden at this time of year because although it is a carpet of leaves, the trees are so many different shades of red, brown and orange. I also love watching the squirrels getting ready for winter, even though I know many people dislike them intensely. I must admit to being a bit of a squirrel nut (sorry!) and it gives me a lot of pleasure watching their daily activities. I used to try and protect them from next door's cat but I've come to the conclusion that they quite enjoy the chase.

For this autumn birthday card, I've chosen a squirrel as the main image although it's a red one and sadly I don't have any of those in my garden. The design is from the lovely Jayne Netley Mayhew - The Digistamp CD which is available from Joanna Sheen and has some superb animal designs on it.

I used kraft card as the base because it contrasts so well with autumn colours. I designed my own backing paper in Serif's CAP2 using a digital leaf punch which I created from the squirrel's fur and added a blend mode. I matted the paper onto black card and used black die cut mats for the topper and sentiment, then added brown paper flowers from my stash and some dark green die-cut leaves. Finally, a tiny white bow and some gold faux pearls completed the design.

Enjoy autumn!

Copyright Melissa Lawrence 2014