Sunday, 16 December 2018

Stocking Fillers For Crafters

Hi everyone.

Crafters are so easy to buy Christmas presents for, aren't they? Even if you think they already have enough craft products to fill the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, they're always delighted to receive some more. As someone who definitely falls into that category and has enough crafty stash to fill the Blackpool Tower Ballroom every night for the next six weeks, I finally decided that 2018 was the year I was going to have to start sharing it with the rest of the world and so 'Share My Stash' was born.

Now, as well as making handmade cards for my small business MJL Creative Cards, I'm also making and selling handmade craft supplies. These are all lovingly created from items in my own crafty stash that I've collected over the years but that have been refreshed and brought up to date in a unique and creative way. As a crafter myself, I'm really excited by the products I'm now bringing to the crafting retail world. I just have to make sure I don't buy any of my own products!

So if you are still looking for those last minute stocking fillers for family members, friends or colleagues who are crafters, or if you have little people in your life who love crafting with mum or gran (or even dad), there is still time to head over to Share My Stash on Folksy to see what crafty goodies are waiting for you there. There is free UK postage on everything in my shop too.

To give you an idea of the sort of things that can be made with my products, I've put together three sample Christmas cards (well, it is the middle of December) using three different products that are all still currently available in my online shop. There are lots of non-Christmassy products there as well which should keep everyone crafting well beyond Boxing Day. Just a word of warning though. Most of the products I make are a "one-off" and when they're gone they're gone, so please don't miss out.

You can be taken directly to each of the products I've used for my sample cards by just clicking on the product images below.

I made the first card using one of these cute felt gingerbread men which are decorated with buttons, sequins, seed pearls and ric-rac braid. Gingerbread men are always a nice alternative at Christmas to robins and Santas and these look good enough to eat. (Please don't though!)

And here is the sample card I made using this product.

For the next card I used three of the pink paper Christmas flowers that are one of my favourite products in the shop. I really like the colour combination of pink and black on Christmas cards as I think it gives them a really stylish and contemporary feel. The flowers were all assembled by hand from some really pretty 6 x 6 papers and are really easy to attach to a card blank with just a dab of 3D glue or some foam tape. They also have a clear faux gem in the centre.

And here is the card I made using just three of the flowers.

My final product choice is the pack of 24 Christmas paper squares and you only need a few of them to make a really stylish and original card. The paper squares are hand-cut from the remains of a Papermania paper kit. There are some really stunning contemporary and more traditional Christmas images in the designs and the paper quality is excellent. Some of the squares are foiled too for extra "bling".

This is the sample card I made and I think it is probably my favourite. I just love the slightly vintage style mixed with the contemporary.

So hopefully I have given you a flavour of what I've being doing for the last few months. And if you are all organised for Christmas (boo!) and don't have any more gifts to buy, then do pop back to Share My Stash in 2019 as there will be lots more products coming in.

Meanwhile, may I wish you and all those close to you a very happy and peaceful Christmas.

Melissa x

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Dovecraft Bohemian Paper Pack

Hi everyone.

I hope you’ve had a good summer. Here in the UK we’ve had some record temperatures (the highest since 1976 apparently) and sometimes it was too hot to go into my craft room which didn’t please me at all!

When I finally made it in there, I set myself the challenge of creating three cards from the fabulous Bohemian Paper Pack designed by the very talented Charlotte Duffy and produced by Dovecraft, the flagship brand of Trimcraft. I love both the colours and the artwork in this pack. There are lots of rich, vibrant oranges, pinks and purples which compliment the beautiful imagery of flowers, birds, butterflies and woodland creatures perfectly.

The two packs I used were the 6 x 6” which is perfect for making small square cards and the 8 x 8”. The quality of the papers is excellent with some having a glitter effect and some being pearlescent. You get a really useable cover too, so don’t throw it away!

The challenge with a paper pack is being able to make cards when you have no co-ordinating toppers or embellishments to go with it but I like a crafty challenge, so here we go.

With love on your birthday

What you will need:

·       6 x 6 paper pack
·       6 x 6 white card blank
·       gold pearlescent paper
·       white cardstock
·       coloured gems
·       sentiment stamp
·       acrylic block
·       gold ink pad
·       foam pads
·       PVA glue
·       small flower punch

How to make it:

1.    Cut a sheet from the pack into three different sized rectangles that cover the card blank but leave a small border around each one.
2.    Use a flower punch to punch out three flowers from the middle-sized rectangle at regular intervals. Attach a strip of gold pearlescent paper to the back of the middle-sized rectangle and stick all three rectangles to the front of the card blank.
3.    Glue the three flowers slightly “off-centre” over the flower-shaped apertures on the middle-sized rectangle and attach a gem to the centre of each one.
4.    Stamp a sentiment on to white cardstock in gold ink, cut the card to size and ink the edges. Attach to a slightly larger piece of gold pearlescent paper and attach to the card blank with foam pads.
5.    Punch out two more flowers and attach to the sentiment. Add gems to the centre of each flower.

Top Tip: Why not try making the same card with the 8 x 8 pack for a really special occasion?

With Love

What you will need:

·       6 x 6 paper pack
·       6 x 6 white card blank
·       white cardstock
·       gold gems
·       pink mini-bow
·       3D glue gel
·       sentiment stamp
·       acrylic block
·       pink ink pad
·       oval nesting die
·       leaf die
·       die-cutting machine
·       glitter gel pens

How to make it:

1.    Use an oval nesting die to cut an aperture from the centre of one of the “frame” design sheets from the paper pack.
2.    Turn the card blank round to a landscape format and attach the remaining sheet to the front of the card blank.
3.    Die-cut another oval shape from white cardstock and glue it to the back of the paper oval die-cut left over from Step 1.
4.    Stamp a sentiment on to the die-cut oval with pink ink and attach it over the aperture with 3D glue gel.
5.    Die-cut three leaves from white cardstock and attach to the edges of the raised oval. Add gems and a mini-bow.
6.    Use gel pens to add glitter highlights to the sentiment and the leaves.

Top Tip: If you are having problems releasing die-cut items, try placing a piece of wax paper between the die and the cardstock before running it through your machine.

Today is all about you

What you will need:

·       8 x 8 paper pack
·       A5 white card blank
·       white cardstock
·       orange craft paper
·       tag template
·       butterfly template
·       self-adhesive red pearls
·       self-adhesive gold seed pearls
·       sentiment stamp
·       acrylic block
·       gold ink pad
·       foam pads
·       PVA glue

How to make it:

1.    Cut a piece of paper from the pack to cover the front of the card blank leaving a small border all the way round and attach to the card blank in a landscape format.
2.    Use the tag template to create three tags from a contrasting sheet of paper from the pack. Glue each tag to white cardstock and trim the cardstock to size. Attach a red pearl to each tag.
3.    Use the butterfly template to create three butterflies from the same paper as the tags. Place each butterfly on to a piece of orange craft paper and roughly cut around each one so that the orange paper can be seen around the edges of the butterfly. Stick the butterflies together at the centre only and lift the wings. Add two tiny gold seed pearls to each butterfly.
4.    Glue one butterfly to each tag at the centre only so that the butterfly wings remain lifted. Use foam pads to attach each tag to the card blank.
5.    Stamp a sentiment on to white cardstock in gold ink and trim to size. Stick the stamped sentiment on to a slightly larger piece of the same paper used to cover the card blank and glue it on to a piece of white cardstock. Attach to the centre tag with foam pads.

Top Tip: If you don’t have a tag template, you can draw round a Christmas or birthday gift tag instead.

Until next time, happy crafting!

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Joanna Sheen Cardmaking Collection

Hi everyone.

So spring finally seems to have arrived since I last blogged and in fact here in the UK, we have just come to the end of our second mini heat wave of the year. It lasted all of three days so let’s see what happens with the next one!

It seems like the perfect time to review a fantastic crafting resource that I came across recently. If you are not familiar with Joanna Sheen, she is one of the leading experts in the crafting industry and brings us some fantastic products at great prices through her website

In conjunction with Practical Publishing International Ltd, who publish a number of very popular craft magazines, Joanna recently brought out another of her fabulous Cardmaking Collections and this one was on the theme of florals, particularly spring florals.

I treated myself to the collection with a voucher I had for Joanna’s website but even without the voucher, it would have been incredible value for money. As well as a glossy full-colour magazine packed with inspirational craft project ideas, many of which came from Joanna herself, the following items were also included:

·       daffodil die with four different sections
·       jug of flowers embossing folder
·       5-in-1 stencil with centre and corner panels
·       set of 12 acrylic stamps
·       paper pack including background papers, sentiments, toppers and images.

Everything came in a beautiful box as well. What more could any crafter want?

I usually aim to do three projects (my magic number) for a blog post such as this but I could have done many more if time and space had allowed. If you are looking for something to boost your crafty mojo and if you can still get hold of this collection, I can highly recommend it. Everything was very easy to use and very inspirational.

Here is what I came up with using all the main items from the collection in one way or another.

Picked especially for you

What you will need:

  • daffodil die, stamp set & paper pack
  • mdf circular plaque
  • black, yellow and white cardstock
  • gemstone
  • black inkpad
  • PVA glue
  • foam tape
  • die-cutting machine

How to make it:
1.       Cover the mdf plaque with green background paper and ink the edges with black ink.
2.        Die-cut three daffodil heads from white cardstock, three centres from yellow cardstock, three sets of stems from black cardstock and six “trumpets” and leaves from white cardstock. Use foam pads to attach the daffodil heads and centres to the plaque, then stick the leaves and the rest of the die-cut pieces in a spray formation. Attach the gemstone to the base of the spray.
3.        Stamp the sentiment onto white card, cut into individual sections and attach to the plaque with foam pads.

Top Tip: When attaching the daffodil stems to the plaque, leave the tips of the stems unglued and curl them up slightly for a more realistic effect. 

Happy Birthday

What you will need:
·      jug of flowers embossing folder & paper pack
·      white 5x7 ins card blank
·      yellow linen cardstock
·      kraft cardstock
·      happy birthday sentiment
·      seed pearls
·      gold, bronze, brown and red inkpads
·      gilding wax
·      sanding block
·      PVA glue
·      foam pads
·      die-cutting machine

How to make it:
1.   Cover the front of the card blank with kraft cardstock.
2.   Emboss an A6 piece of yellow linen cardstock with the embossing folder and trim it to size. Sand the embossed cardstock down, then add gilding wax and different coloured inks to the raised sections of the embossing. Ink the edges of the embossed cardstock with bronze ink.
3.   Cut out a slightly larger piece of script-patterned paper, ink the edges and adhere to the card blank. Attach the embossed cardstock on top.
4.   Cut out three sections of the flower image leaving a white border all the way round. Arrange the flowers on top of the embossed cardstock as if they are in the jug. Attach with foam pads.
5.   Ink the edges of the sentiment with bronze ink and stick it onto the card blank with foam pads. Attach three seed pearls on either side.

Top Tip: Don’t be afraid to get messy and use your fingers for applying gilding wax and inks to the embossed cardstock. You get a much more “vintage” look that way.

Best Wishes

What you will need:

  • stencil and paper pack
  • white 7x7ins card blank
  • gold pearlescent cardstock
  • best wishes sentiment
  • self-adhesive pearls
  • gold and bronze inkpads
  • blending sponge
  • PVA glue
  • foam pads

How to make it:
  1.  Cover the front of the card blank with a piece of patterned paper from the paper pack.
  2.  Cut a slightly smaller piece of script-patterned paper from the paper pack and place the stencil on top of it. Using the blending sponge, apply gold ink through the corner panels on the stencil and bronze ink through the centre panel. Remove the stencil, then add more ink to the script-patterned paper.
  3.  Trim a piece of gold pearlescent cardstock so that it is slightly larger than the script-patterned paper. Attach the pearlescent cardstock to the centre of the card blank with foam pads, then stick the script-patterned paper into the centre of the pearlescent card.
  4.  Cut out the rose image from the paper pack leaving a white border and attach to the centre of the card blank with foam pads.
  5.  Ink the sentiment with bronze ink and secure to the corner of the card blank with foam pads. Attach three pearls to finish.
Top Tip: If you don’t have any pearls that match the colour of your card, you can re-colour them by placing each pearl face-down onto an inkpad. Attach the pearl to your card, then seal the ink with a tiny amount of Glossy Accents.  

Until next time, happy crafting!