Saturday, 28 August 2010

Cameras, Chester and a Card

***Warning, picture heavy post***

Last Sunday was my birthday and as a present Mr Crafty Blogger paid for me to do a 1:1 photo course with the photographer and crafter extraordinaire the wonderful Kirsty Wiseman.

So last Friday I headed off to meet Kirsty.  I had a fantastic day and learnt loads about portrait photography and editing which enhances rather than destroys photos.  Although I could already shoot semi-auto and manual Kirsty managed to increase my confidence and prove that with a few tweaks I can get some great shots from my camera.  Here's a couple of shots from the day:

First this is me taken by Kirsty with my camera (pic from Kirsty's blog):

and here's one I took of Kirsty:

If you have a DSLR camera I cannot recommend the course highly enough!  If you are a beginner to DSLR photography it will save you months of reading manuals, tutorials and books.  If you know a bit more about it like I did it will increase your confidence and teach you lots of invaluable tips and tricks.

On Saturday I celebrated my birthday with friends and a trip to Chester Races.  A while ago I blogged about my intention to make a dress and I am pleased to report that I did make one and wore it to the races.  (It nearly didn't make it as I was still hemming it at 12.30am on Friday morning).

Here's a pic of me (on the left) and a friend waiting for the train to Liverpool.  It has to be said we got some funny looks when we boarded.

Once we got to Lime Street station there were a lot more race-goers knocking about so we blended in a bit more.  By the time we got to Chester we looked normal and after a lovely pub lunch we joined the hoardes of people heading to the course:

I had never been to the races before and my previous betting experience was limited to an annual flutter on the Grand National.   However I did manage to pick one winner (out of 8 races) and I did finish 'up' by £2.50.  Mr Crafty Blogger did significantly better, backing 4 of the 8 winners.    Here he is "studying the form" or whatever you do when you don't pick horses by their name or the jockey's silks:

(photo was taken on my mobile.  If you have an Android phone download Vignette, it's great fun)

Fortunately Mr Crafty Blogger's success meant the drinks were on him!

Finally as this is a craft blog I thought I had better share a card.  This is the thank you I made for Kirsty following the photo course:

Ingredients:  Basic Grey Offbeat paper, Quickutz and Cuttlebug alphabet dies, mini bulldog clip from Paperchase, Fiskars threading water punch.

Thanks for looking,
Ruthie x

Saturday, 14 August 2010

It's Tree-mendous.............

...... I've made a Christmas card, and it's only August!

It's all Jo's fault over at Daring Card Makers:


I would like to see cards this week featuring a tree! Some of the Daring Cardmakers may have groaned slightly when I mentioned Christmas trees(Kathy!) but it doesn't have to be a festive tree, green trees, apple trees, stamped trees, sticker trees, paper pieced trees - anything goes, as long as it is a tree!

I recently bought the Basic Grey Offbeat papers which put me in mind of Christmas decorations in a very retro 1970s way.  Perfect, I could make a Christmas card without having to delve into anything too snow covered and festive:
Christmas Tree Card

Christmas Tree Card (2)

Ingredients: Paper - Basic Grey Offbeat, Nestabilities labels, circles and scalloped circle dies, Sizzix Sizzlits Tree die, pom poms from Aberkan, ribbon and brads from stash.

The layout of the card was based on another card I made earlier this week which has a much more summery feel!:


Ice Cream Card (2)

Ingredients: Papers - My Minds Eye (magazine freebie!), paper-pieced ice cream made with a mixture of hand cutting and Nestabilities dies, Nellie Snellen frame die, pom poms from Aberkan, ribbon from stash, inking and pen stitching.

Thanks for looking,

Ruthie x

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Sculpted Paper Roses

You will have probably noticed that sculpted paper roses are everywhere at the moment.  Prima do them and YouTube is full of tutorials on how to make them.

I started having a go at making them a couple of weeks ago with very limited success (by "limited" I actually mean NO success).  However, yesterday I had a bit of a breakthrough and managed to make this:

Paper Rose

Sculpted paper rose

Most tutorials rely on using a 6 petal flower punch or die which I didn't own so my early (failed) attempts involved hand cutting the flowers.  This works well if you are very good with scissors, but unfortunately mine looked like I done them blindfolded with blunt scissors!

After trying and failing with the scissors I went punch/die hunting.  I ruled out getting a punch as they cost about £10 and I find their use quite limited.  A die seemed a more sensible option as I have a Cuttlebug so next stop was the Sizzix range.

I decided that the new Sizzix Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Florals die was what I needed.  Unfortunately these dies seem to be in pretty short supply and are going for silly money on Ebay so no luck there.

Luckily during my Sizzix hunt I stumbled across this die set from Marianne D:

Not only is it perfect for making paper roses but I will also get loads of other uses out of it as a normal die. 

Anyway, enough of my shopping, back to the paper roses.  As you may have gathered I cut the petals and leaves using the die.  Both are cut from My Minds Eye paper which I stuck together to make double sided.  The method for assembling the rose was based on a hybrid the following tutorials:

Splitcoast Stampers Tutorial  (this one uses the elusive Tim Holtz Die)

To finish the leaves I curled them round a pencil like the flower petals.

Thanks for looking and sorry for the slightly arty pics. Can you tell my latest obsession is my new Android phone and the Vignette app!

Ruthie x