Thank you for the Bluebells!

In the cottage where Mr. Cobs and I used to live we had a HUGEmongous back garden.  A tiny postage stamp sized front garden, but the back garden was fabulous.

We lived in that cottage for around 30 years, and I always said that I’d never leave it.  However, what’s that saying about the best laid  ‘schemes of mice and men’  often going awry?  My plan for never leaving the cottage totally changed when our youngest daughter got married and moved to the end of the planet.  (Well no, not quite, it was only to the end of the country – but it felt like another planet altogether).  She missed us, and the dogs, and the cats ….  and … oh, everything!  This missing us was making her dreadfully miserable, even though we travelled to see her and she to see us.  Eventually we made the big decision that we’d sell up and move to live near her and our new son-in-law.

We’d said many, many years ago (when we were young and full of pie in the sky ideas) that maybe, possibly, perhaps,  one day we might like to live by the sea, but we’d long forgotten that, and besides which, we’d grown older and less inclined to ‘up-sticks’.  But anyway,  … our cottage was sold, and we bought a new place near our daughter and son-in-law and moved lock, stock and … all our animals. 

The long distance move was quite an ‘experience’but I’ll save that amusing, hair-raising tale for another day.

We’ve made friends with our new neighboursall of them are just the most lovely folks, and we’re really settling in here in our new home and it’s feeling more like ‘us’.

I happened to admire some bluebells in one of my neighbours gardens, telling her how I missed the bluebells in my old garden.  So she did no more than …  gave me some of hers!  I was beside myself with thanks to her.  Mr. Cobs planted them in the rear garden and … the dog thought they were a new place to pee and killed the darn things.

My neighbour gave us some more some weeks ago.  This time we planted bundles of them in the garden to the front of our new cottage, and just a few in the rear garden (and are keeping a close eye on the dog!).

The bluebells looked a little limp and very sad.  All the leaves were just lying around on the ground like wilted things and I honestly thought we were going to lose them all.  But suddenly … a spike appeared.  Then another.  And another  and …. they looked like they were going to flower!  AND …  joy of joys …  … THEY DID!  They all began to flower.

I decided that I’d make a ‘Thank You’ card for my neighbour, and would take some photographs of the little bluebells for her, to include in the card.

So this, dear reader, is the story of how this card came to be, and how I went about making it.

Hand painted by Cobs.

Hand painted by Cobs.

I wanted the card to be very personal.  Something where the ‘elements’ were a little more personal so that my neighbour would see that this really was a thank you from my heart.  I began by painting a little bundle of bluebells – in a very light-hearted, kind of country style / folksy art way.  (Country / folk art style painting is so much more friendly and less ‘formal’, don’t you think?).

Then I tried something I’ve never done before ….  making felt flowers.

I made some bluebells from felt, wire and florist tape, then set this on one side for later.

I made some bluebells from felt, wire and florist tape, then set this on one side for later.

I’d chosen to make a 6″x6″ white card as a base, and mat and layer onto the front of the card with something fresh and pretty as a background.

I stitched around the card I'd chosen for matting and layering on the card stock, in zig zag stitching.

I stitched around the card I’d chosen for matting and layering on the card stock, in zig zag stitching.

Fashionistas always say you shouldn’t mix spots and stripes.  I say … ‘do whatever feels good’.  So I matched spotty card with gingham! (see above photo – the gingham is down in the left corner).

I stitched around the watercolour card in straight stitch, on the sewing machine.

I stitched around the watercolour card in straight stitch, on the sewing machine.

I cut a slightly larger than the card size piece of green Organza ….

Green Organza, which I hand stitched a running stitch and then pulled on the end to gather the Organza up a little to make it look a little bit scrunched and folded, behind the card.

Green Organza, into which I hand sewed a running stitch and then pulled on the ends of he thread to gather the Organza up a little to make it look a bit scrunched and folded, behind the card.

Showing you the white base card, with the gingham mounted on top.

Showing you the white base card, with the gingham mounted on top.

Before I layered the spotty card onto the gingham, I distressed the edges and then using a duster brush, to give the card a more vintage feel, using some warm brown ink from a StazOn ink pad.

See the 'gathered'/folded organza?   I added a rough cut piece of muslin behind the painted bluebells, and added some deep blue paper ribbon, which I wrapped around the watercolour card twice and added the bow.   I then added some cotton lace to the bottom of the card.

See the ‘gathered’/folded organza?
I added a rough cut piece of muslin behind the painted bluebells, and added some deep blue paper ribbon, which I wrapped around the watercolour card twice and added the bow.
I then added some cotton lace to the bottom of the card.

Then it was time for me to build the idea I’d had when I first thought of making this very special thank you card.

I knew I wanted it to have a vintage feel, to almost feel like it came from the 40’s or 50’s.  I chose all my flowers, and knew that I had some wooden plant markers in my craft room somewhere … finding them was going to be the tricky part.  Would you believe it!  I found them in the very first place I looked!  (That NEVER happens normally!)

My very most favourite part of card making ...  adding the 'decorations'.

My very most favourite part of card making … adding the ‘decorations’.

I added the little nest with the three bird eggs, by using my hot glue gun.  It’s a very light weight decoration, so doesn’t make the card heavy.  The flowers are all from my stash and bought from various places.

8a

The little dragonfly is a metal, Tibetan Silver embellishment. The white fuzzy ‘flowers’ you see are a type of Gypsophila, which I’ve only recently discvered and absolutely love them. They make things so pretty, and give so much more depth to a floral ‘arrangement’ on a card.

The wooden plant sticks are blank – but you can change that really simply by either writing on them yourself (if you have a steady hand) or … choose a font on your computer, print the word(s) out that you wish to have on your plant stick and simply glue the word onto it!

Close up of the tiny boots.

Close up of the tiny boots.

The two Wellington boots are metal, Tibetan Silver, and actually do stand up all by themselves!  I hung them on some silver chain – leftover from my days of jewellery making, and added the Rayon Seam Binding bow, in a deep blue colour.

I’d made the card so that it was a pocket card (with an easel stand to the back so that it stood up all by itself), and made two tags for inside the pocket.  One was to be a bookmark, and the other was for photographs and the dedication (the ‘to’, ‘from’ etc).

Showing one side of the Tags

Showing one side of the Tags

You can click on any/all of these photographs and they’ll open up to a much bigger photo which you can see a little more easily if you wish.

One side of the bookmark

One side of the bookmark

The bookmark is double-sided.  On this side (shown above) I’ve used two stamps from the ‘Floral Sentiments’ Vintage Collection which I stamped in black, and also another stamp called ‘Parchment Script’ made by Image Tree, which I embossed using Gold embossing powder.  I also stamped two tiny butterflies from a collection by Cavallini, which I embossed using Copper Kettle embossing powder.

The other side of the tags

The other side of the tags

On the reverse side of the larger tag I stamp some card with a Postcard stamp (by Urban), which is where I wrote the ‘to ….. from ….’ –  and on the reverse side of the bookmark; I computer made the little picture of the bunch of bluebells teamed with part of a poem written by Anne Bronte′.

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If you click on this photograph it will open up into a much bigger view, and you’ll be able to read the poem.

Click on the photo ↑  to make it bigger – but don’t forget to click ‘back’ to come back again!

The photographs mounted onto the larger tag

The photographs mounted onto the larger tag

I took a handful of photographs of the bluebells blooming in my garden, chose the best three, then resized them on my computer to make them smaller, and kind of cuter, and added them to the one side of the larger tag.  Oh … I forgot to say  . . .   I stamped that word  ‘Photographs’ – using a Tim Holtz stamp.

Close up of the photographs.   click on the photo to make it bigger - but remember to click 'back' to continue reading

Close up of the photographs.
click on the photo to make it bigger – but remember to click ‘back’ to continue reading

Obviously, a card with a bird’s nest on the front isn’t going to fit into an envelope!  I had to make a deep box …..

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I didn’t want to make the box in the same colours,  but I did want the box and card to ‘speak’ to each other and have things in common  . . .  so I used dotty card – only this time in deep purple, and stamped all around the outside of the box with bird themed stamps.  Bird Nests.  Bird Houses, Dove Cotes.  Birds on nests in branches ….  etc.  And just for a bit of fun, I added the little resin birds nest to the lid of the box.  I added the little topper of a Garden Shed and made the bunting from scraps of different colours of dotty card, hand stamped with the letters from the alphabet to spell out ‘THANK YOU’.

Do you remember those felt bluebells I made, right at the start?  Well … there they are.  On that box lid.

A close up of the felt bluebells.

A close up of the felt bluebells.

The colours of the bluebells aren’t actually quite as shocking as in the photographs of themThe flash obviously surprised them and make them a little more flamboyant than they really are.  lol.

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When I took the card over to my neighbour, she was absolutely thrilled with it, but as surprised as surprised could be that I’d made the card myself.  She exclaimed …. You made this??”   …  then a few moments later  …  “And you actually made this??”  ….  then  ….  “I can’t believe you made this.  It’s wonderful!” …  … which I didn’t take offence at, I just giggled my head off.  (Although I do wonder what I look like I make in my craft room  People probably think I make a mess more than I make anything else!  LOL …  Hmm,  actually, looking at my craft room – they’d be right! eek!)

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Well that’s it.  That’s the story of this card, and how it came to be.  OH!  I nearly forgot to tell you …  my neighbour said“You couldn’t have brought this on a better day…  it’s my Birthday tomorrow!”.  Awww, I was filled with fun bubbles when she said this.  She would have an extra card on the shelf!

Thank you SO much for coming to visit.  I love seeing and chatting with you all via comments.  It makes blog land such a wonderful place to be in.  I’ve made some really fabulous friends and blogging buddies, and I never guessed that I would when I first began this blog, just over a year ago.  So thank you for making this dotty old card makers days even more brilliant!

Sending love, and wishing you all …. a truly blessed rest of your day!

Cobs siggy sml

Embrace Life; Live in the Moment ~ A Mini Album from scratch!

1 front

I’m a scrapbooker, card maker, Melt Pot Marveller; Polymer Clay player … oh! and all sorts of other things – but I’d never made a mini album before.  But …  I decided to make one for my lovely parcel delivery lady.  She’s the best delivery person I’ve ever had, and I really appreciate her for who she is; her kindness; her concern, and how brilliantly she does her job.  She goes that extra mile – and nowadays it’s difficult to find someone who does this in their job! I love her to pieces for being so wonderful.  (… and yes, I have told her this, whilst giving her a hug).

She said some weeks ago, that she’d love a card or something I’d made – “just for me.  Just for myself”.  So I put my thinking cap on and thought about what I could make for her which gave a nod to all the things I knew she liked.  I wanted something which would have a theme of travelling – she is my parcel delivery lady after all, and she does a LOT of travelling – both in her job and because her family is spread over many miles.  But I wanted an album which could be for all those things plus:  Day trips with her family.  Holidays.  Moments in the car.  Things she’s seen while she was out and about, and snapped a photo of with the camera on her phone.  The Journey of Life in general.  (it could even be about her job if she wanted it to be).

I chose the papers ‘Celebrate the Journey’, which are made by one of my favourite paper crafting & rubber stamp companies:  Heartfelt Creations and various other bits and pieces which you’ll see in the following photos.

To begin with – I had to make the pages of the album on which I could work. 

Being the recycler that I am, I turned to my re-cycling box to find some stiff card which I could use to form the base for the pages.  I knew I wanted them to be firm – almost like thin wood, – but I also wanted them to be able to have a slight ‘bendibility’ to them, which would accommodate embellishments on the pages.  And this is how I made those base pages:

A

A HUUGE box of chocolates which was bought for Christmas last year.   I saved the box as I knew that it would come in handy for something at some point.  (I was right!) 😀

Took the sides of the lid and base, then cut out the sizes I needed for my pages.

Took the sides off the lid and base, then cut out the sizes I needed for my pages.

Glued some craft card to the re-cycled card, to make it rigid, then trimmed to size.

Glued some craft card to the re-cycled card, to make it rigid, then trimmed to size.

Once made, I scored down each page, to ensure that the pages all had a little 'bendability' to them, in order to accommodate any thick embellishments which I might add to the pages

Once made, I scored down each page, to ensure that the pages all had a little ‘bendability’ to them, in order to accommodate any thick embellishments which I might add to the pages

Once the pages had been constructed it was time to decorate.

I’m not going to talk you through how to decorate a page because we all decorate differently,  –  so I’ll just walk with you through the pages and you can look at the finished book as if I’d handed it to you.

The front of the album

The front of the album

1a front

close up of the handmade maps, the ‘Embrace Life’ ticket, brass postcard etc.

1b front

another ticket; another map – rolled up and tied with bakers twine; a metal embellishment: a butterfly.

1c front

Pages 2 and 3.  The little blue'ish' tag holder on the left hand page, actually opens.  It has a magnetic catch which keeps it closed.  You can open it by gently pulling on the silver dragon fly hanging on the silver chain.

Pages 2 and 3. The little ‘blueish’  tag holder, on the left hand page, actually opens. It has a magnetic catch which keeps it closed. You can open it by gently pulling on the silver dragon fly hanging on the silver chain.

The little 'book' opened, and the tags pulled out slightly from the hidden pocket.

The little ‘book’ opens, and the tags are pulled out slightly from the hidden pocket.

page 3.  (the tags do come out of the pocket).

page 3.   —  (the tags do slide out of the pocket).

pages 4 and 5

pages 4 and 5

All the tags are removable, and you can either write and journal on the back of them, or stick photographs to them.  You can also attach photo's to the book page, and glue notes, or journalling, or even glue the tag to the page!

Page 4. All the tags are removable from the pockets, and you can either write / journal on the back of them, or stick photographs to the tags. You can of course attach photo’s to the book page, and glue notes, or journaling, or even glue a tag to the page!  The little framed map is actually a photo frame.  You and insert a photograph into the frame from the top.  The map is a section I cut from a larger map.  It’s a map of somewhere which means something to Mrs. Delivery Lady and her family.

3b

Page 5

Pages 6 and 7.  Spaces for journalling or glueing.  Tickets; receipts; maps; mementos of a trip or journey - or even a sweet wrapper, which brings back a memory?

Pages 6 and 7. —  Spaces for journaling,  or:-  glueing  tickets;  receipts;  maps; mementos of a trip or journey – or even a sweet wrapper which brings back a memory!

Page 6

Page 6.  I hand stamped the bicycle onto the backing paper and then added the hot air balloon, which I die cut from an X-cut die and added the swing tag, which reads:  ‘Life – The Great Adventure’.

Page 7.  A pocket full of tags, and a photograph frame (the heart) - which has a journalling tag which you pull out and write details about the photo.

Page 7. A pocket full of tags, and a photograph frame (the heart) – which has a journaling tag which you pull out and write details about the photo.

...  page 7 ... what's behind the tags? .... now you can see for yourself!

… page 7 … what’s behind the tags? …. now you can see for yourself!

It was at this point that I wanted to put a little fun  . . .  my delivery lady has a huge sense of fun and she and her daughter love anything to do with fairies – so naturally …  it had to be Fairy inspired!   . . . .

Pages 8 and 9   …. and   . . . .   AND  . . .   ‘The Pocket of Secrets!’

Pages 8 and 9 …. and . . . . AND . . . ‘The Pocket of Secrets!’

 

In order to enter the realm of the fae, ... one must come with the right key! Can you pick out the right key?

In order to enter the realm of the fae, … one must come with the right key!
Can you pick out the right key?

The Pocket of Secrets. . . .   can you guess what's inside?

The Pocket of Secrets.
. . . can you guess what’s inside?

Inside 'The Pocket of Secrets' is a key, captured and sealed inside resin and attached to a metal charm, and ... a tiny vial of Fairy Dust!

. . . .   a key,  . . . .  and  . . . .   captured and sealed behind resin and attached to a metal charm, a KEY!   … and there beside it is ….  a the tiniest vial of Fairy Dust!

page 9.   What's behind the Fairy Doors? . . . .

page 9.
What’s behind the Fairy Doors? . . . .

A peep behind the Fairy Doors!

A tiny peep behind the Fairy Doors!

5c3

There’s a BIG tag behind the doors …. ‘Believe’  –  well do you?  ….  Do you see the tiny wish Bone? (it’s not a paper cut out, nor is it made from card or such like!)  …  ah,  but you can only make a wish if you truly believe, otherwise … how is your wish supposed to come true?

6 pages 10 and 11

Pages 10 and 11 ~ Somewhere to add notes, mementos,  and somewhere to add photographs and memories.

page 10.  This is a removable photo album - where each page can be removed, added to, written on, glued etc. . . .   and it's also hiding something ...

page 10  –  “A photograph is like a recipe.  It’s a memory of the finished dish.”  —   This is a removable photo book within the mini album! The whole of this smaller photo book can actually be removed from the album, and even, if need be, every page can be individually removed, to be written on or something glued to it etc. It’s a clever little detail which I loved!

6c pages of the little album

Pages of the smaller photo book. Each page has a section where the story of the photograph which will be attached below it, can be written.

The photo album is completely removable.

The little photo book is completely removable.

Hidden tags.

Hidden tags.

And that brings us to the back of the mini album…. 

7  The Back

I thoroughly enjoyed making this mini albumalthough it took me a handful of weeks to complete due to poor health.  I’ve been suffering with a chronic sinus infection which has, most days, totally wiped me off my feet.  My delivery lady knew that I was making something for her, and was so patient.  She never asked once about it.  I finally got to give the album to her last weekend, and I know that she’s been waiting for me to post photographs of the album on my blog here, so that she could tell her friends to come and take a peep at it.

So a big   ‘HELLOoooo’   to all new readers and fabulous friends of my delivery lady!

I know that my delivery lady will see that some of the photographs here might be missing tiny little details which are actually on the album in real life.  This was because I added little touches to the album after I’d taken these photo’s.

For those who might like to make something similar, or may be wondering about something I’ve used in the making of the mini, I add a list of the items and products used:

  • Heartfelt Creations 12×12 Celebrate the Journey papers.
  •       ”                   ”         Timeless Clock stamp
  •       ”                   ”          Celebrate the Journey Sentiments stamps
  •       ”                   ”          Time Sentiments stamps
  •       ”                   ”          World Map stamp
  •       ”                    ”         Bike Stamp
  • Spellbinders (for Heartfelt Creations) Once Upon a Time Die
  • Brass Postcard embellishment
  • Assorted Brads
  • Dragonfly Metal Embellishment
  • Resin Blue Butterfly
  • Papermania ‘All Aboard’ Kraft Luggage Tags
  • Crafters Companion Stick and Spray
  • Crafters Companion Spray and Shine
  • Anita’s Clear Gloss
  • Graph ‘it Glitter Gold Shake it Pen
  •    ”           ”      Silver    ”     ”  Pen
  • Pigma Micron 01 Archival Ink Pen
  • Assorted ink pads – Memento;  Tim Holtz;  Staz-on
  • Map cut from an old(ish) British map book
  • Tonic Header Dies
  • Tonic Corner Dies
  • Tonic Fairy die.
  • Creative Expressions Gilding Waxes – Greens, Blues, Lavender.
  • Pinflair Gentle Blends in various colours (Denim, Teal,
  • Ranger Melting Pot
  • Dovecraft Ric Rac in Black
  • seam binding / glitter ribbon / string / silk ribbon / Bakers Twine – used for ties, tags, bows and decorations etc.
  • Kraft/craft card
  • Black ‘Linen effect’ card
  • Tim Holtz Idealology metal  keyhole
  • Ranger Stickles in various colours
  • Spellbinders Die  D-lites ~ Birds Scroll.
  • Sheena Douglass embossing folder
  • Assorted tags – both bought and hand cut, but all decorated and adorned by me.
  • Resin birds in flight.

…… and various other bits and pieces which I’ve probably forgotten to add to this list. 

If there’s anything you can see in the photo’s which I haven’t mentioned in the above list, but you want to know about it, please just ask in a comment.  I’m more than happy to help.  If there’s a certain something in the photographs which you’ve spotted and need to know how I did something etc etc  … again, please feel free to askI’m not one of those people who won’t share things.  I’m more than happy to help fellow craftersjust leave a question in the comment section and I promise to reply.

Thank you SO much for stopping by and taking the time to read and have a look at the photographs.

Finally … a message to my lovely delivery lady …  I’m sorry it’s taken me a week to get these photo’s onto my blog.  I’m being invaded by germs!  eeeeeeeek!  But I got there in the end 😉

Have a truly lovely weekend everyone.  Me?  I’m too blessed to be stressed about being so poorly, so I’ll carry on carrying on!  😀

Cobs siggy sml

Take time to Stop and Smell the flowers

6

I’m going to attempt to say as little as possible in this post (because I’m WAY too ‘wordy’),  and instead just add ‘points’ to tell the story of what went into the making of this card, in case you’d like to make one like it.

1

↑ ↑ ↑

White 8 x 8″ scored & folded card on which to build the finished card  + 2 x  sheets of Kraft (craft) card  +  1 sheet of  Black card.

Measure, cut and attach the black card to the front of the white base card.

2↑  ↑  ↑

Embossed one sheet of craft card in a ‘hessian’ effect embossing folder

3↑  ↑  ↑

Cut into the edge of the ‘hessian’ card to make it looked like frayed hessian.  Then lightly dragged some ink in three colours over the hessian effect so that it looked grungy.   It didn’t matter that it wasn’t blended properly – most of it isn’t going to be seen – but it’s more important for it to have that ‘old and battered’ look.

Attach the ‘hessian’ to the black card which is fixed glued to the front of the card.

4↑  ↑  ↑ 

Embossed another sheet of card (cut to size) – but this time the Kraft card is a warmer shade than the ‘hessian’ effect card.

5

↑  ↑  ↑

Die cut a bike and fill the ‘basket’ on the front of the bike with an assortment of flowers.  Add brads to the centre of the wheels, then attach the bike to the card.

8

Stamp up a tag with the sentiment. 

(The wiggly border on the tag is hand drawn with a fine tipped pen).

9

Die cut a fob watch shape, added a metal clock face, pointer – and a ‘dis-armed’ large brad cap. (there’s a smaller,  hidden brad which holds the pointer in place and because of that the pointer actually does spin round!)  Attach the fob watch to the front of the card – over the ‘hole’ in the tag, so that it looks like the tag and watch are ‘paired’

Add a brown ribbon bow.

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Ta dah!  Finished.

Thank you for coming and taking a look at one of my card makes. 

I really like this card.  Do you like it too?  Please – let me know!

Cobs siggy sml