Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Top Tip Tuesday - Maze Book/Wrap it up with ribbon

It's my turn to provide a tutorial for you all this week at Top Tip Tuesday and it's one of my favourites - a Maze Book.

I first learned this project from an American site - TV Weekly (not sure if it's still up and running or not - must look!) a few years ago and I was so chuffed with it at my first attempt, I've made a few of them now. They're great as a little memento of a night out or a new baby or...well, just about anything really!

Maze Book

This Maze Book, is a miniature book using a single sheet of 12" 12" paperstock and a few scraps. 

All it takes is a little bit of folding, three simple cuts, some good gluing techniques and the basic book is ready for photos and embellishments. This lickle book makes a great gift or a pocket-sized scrapbook to show off those holiday photos, babies, pets or a great night out!. 

Please read the whole project before beginning to craft as there are a couple of alternative ways of using this book and it’s best to know which one you want to make before starting!

For the first one you are best using a double-sided 12 x 12 as you will see both sides of the paper. 

For the second one you could also use double sided or you could cheat like me with single-sided and put a few little liners in!


Patterned 12 x 12 heavy-ish scrap-sheet A to taste x 1 (ds if perferred)
Plain greyboard or similar  4” x 4”                          x 2 
Patterned paper B 4.5” x 4.5”                                x 2
Quantity of patterned paper B for cheat’s way.               
Bone Folder
PVA Adhesive
Foam Brush
Cutting Mat
Craft Knife
Ribbon                                                                 x 1 yard
Embellishments and photos to suit
Narrow ds tape


Fold the 12 x 12 sheet in half. Use a bone folder to reinforce the fold. 

Fold the two edges back to the outside of the fold, making the page into long quarters.

Fold this again into quarters the other way. Reinforce the folds with the bone folder.

You should have a 3” square of folded paper. 

Open your paper out. Your paper should look like this

Open the scrap-sheet. Your 12 x 12  should have sixteen squares marked by creases.

Cutting  the “maze”. 
Unfold the cardstock on top of a cutting mat. Lay a ruler along the right vertical crease.  Using a craft knife, cut along the right vertical fold using the ruler as a guide. Start at the top horizontal fold and cut all the way to the bottom edge.

Make a second identical cut along the left vertical fold. Make a third cut along the middle fold, but this time start cutting from the top edge and stop cutting when you reach the bottom horizontal fold. The cuts in the cardstock form an “M”.

Now fold the cardstock into the book pages. 
Start folding from one end along the creases. When you reach the top of each section, fold the stack over to the next, following the natural fold. 

Continue to fold into a square following the creases you made . 

Set the pages aside.

The End-Boards

Take one of your grey-board squares (..mine are actually small pieces of cream illustration board..) and one of your patterned paper B squares.

(I'd use an old magazine or layout pad to do the pasting on so you can just tear and throw away the page - less messy!)

Place the board on the paper and score around it. This 'teaches' the paper which way you want it to bend when you've glued it.

Before you glue, cut off a tiny bit of the point of each corner of the board. Makes a tidier corner when covered.

Make a 'squiggle' of PVA on the board and using your foam brush, spread it from the centre outwards, then offer the board to the centre of the paper.

Before you glue the flaps, take your scissors or knife and cut off the corners of the paper approx 16th of an inch away from the board (not like I did - I cut them off after gluing because I forgot! LOL!)

There should be enough PVA on your foam to run it round the exposed paper but if not, add just a LITTLE more and wipe it around the edges pushing it gently into the edge of the board. Now fold the flaps over and smooth them down using the point of your bone-folder to tuck the corners in (like when gift-wrapping). Repeat on second board and put aside to dry.

Variation one - pockets
Take up your pages again and if you want to make fewer pages but have pockets in them now's the time to do it as it's harder to 'play' with the pages once they're stuck together and the ends are on.  I used my scalloped punches to make little openings and because my paper is single-sided I had to make little 'liners' from the contrasting paper to pop behind the apertures. This is where you may prefer to use a double-sided paper so you don't have to make these liners.

Once you're happy with this, take your ds tape and create your pockets. One or two are sideways ones, so don't think you've done it wrong when you come across them!

Variation two - long maze.
This one is easy! Your maze is made! Just decorate and embellish to taste.

Adhere the end-boards
Place your two boards patterned side down and evenly placed on your magazine again.  
Squiggle your pva and spread again.
Place your ribbon across the two end-boards then  place your pages in the centre of one board over the ribbon.

Place the other end-board on top and manipulate your ribbon to suit.
Fill your pockets with tags, photos tickets etc.

 Your Maze-Book is finished!

(my photo corners are all silvertone - don't know why they look gilt in the photo!)

I hope you enjoy making this book - I love them and once you get the hang of them, they take minutes to make!

Don't forget to pop over to Top Tip Tuesday to get some inspiration from the team !
We have two fab sponsors over at TTT this week


so be sure to pop over to their places to have a good old nosey!
I've also made a card utilizing one of Digital Delights fun images - a lickle mouse enjoying a coffee!  I'll send this to a friend I haven't seen for a while, inviting her for coffee!

Sorry the photo isn't very good - I'll try to get on in daylight tomorrow but I'm going to be busy again until Wednesday so don't hold yer breath.....! LOL!
See ya next week!

Monday, 30 May 2011

...oh my goodness...what a week!

...talk about meeting yourself coming back! LOL!

I often state (...NOT complain, mind you...!) that my OH and I 'don't smoke, don't drink, don't go out anywhere, don't spend much on clothes or beauty salons etc...'
as an explanation of why I think I deserve my (sometimes costly) craft addiction.

Now my timetable this week will probably cause sneers of derision from some of you younger, fitter peeps out there but remember I've been retired for about five years and the OH is doing a 'part-time after retirement' job - we're a pair of old wrinklies!

This week's timetable has looked something like this:-

Monday :- Gotta get up early to get my project on for Crafty Cardmakers. I had to make it last night because I was too busy at the week-end with visitors and needed to photograph it in daylight!
Then there's the big shop. Monday is Nic's day off and he LOVES to shop (yukk!) so we end up in every pound-shop and Home Bargains type shop between here and Widnes. This week he was hunting down garden and bird type stuff!  I then had the usual house type stuff, feeding him and taking him to work in the evening.
I get back and make my project for tomorrow's Top Tip Tuesday because I was too busy with visitors at the week-end!

Tuesday morning :- up early again to put on my blog write-up for Top Tip Tuesday (...must try to get ahead on these projects...!) I'm not actually playing this week but I still try to do write-ups for my DT's.
9:00 am - I go to physio which includes an hour of physical jerks (ouch!)
Tuesday pm I get the grandbabbies - lovely, but knackering! Then the usual tea-time cut & thrust and taking Nic to work.

Wednesday:- 8:15am- off to new hospital for Glucose Tolerance test. This delightful experience includes a disgusting glucose gloopy drink and a two hour wait between blood-tests. Fun eh?
pm - I actually get a couple of hours before Nic gets up to do something for myself. What did I do...? Fall asleep! On my keyboard! 
Then the usual tea-time routine and getting Nic to work.

Thursday:-  Bev chose today to come to visit with both babies! I printed out some photos of them for her photo-frames and she did my hair colour for me.  There is a fair amount of 'blonde' coming through now, so I need Bev to make sure I don't miss any!

We're actually going out tonight! 

A bit of background:-
Our number three son Rob, is a talented musician and from the age of 14 had his own bands. His first band was Happy Accident who were phenomenal for their age. 

At 15, Rob was writing songs a professional songwriter would be proud of and this band of lovely lads included Allan William Jones, the drummer.   As a youngster, Allan was as cute as a button - small and dark like a little pixie and by their teen-years he had all the girls after him but he was only interested in his drums .......and his skateboard!

Well, that was fifteen years ago! LOL!  Then I got a 'poke' on Facebook. Allan was still drumming and playing in Liverpool with a band called 'Red Scare' - would we like to come and see them?  Would we ever! How could we not? I was the band's roadie for about four or five years - I wouldn't miss this for the world!

So, off we went to Mello Mello, in the heart of Liverpool hoping we wouldn't, at our great age, look too out of place!  There was nothing to worry about at all - it was a boho-style cafe-bar and the clientele was eclectic to say the least! We weren't even the oldest in there! 

Great atmosphere and the band were slick and tight with Allan - still adorably baby-faced at 30 despite his new beardy look - a real professional on those skins!

It was so lovely to catch up with him and his parents (they used to be Happy Accident groupies too!) but I had no voice at all the next day, which was a bit of a bummer because I had my Copics Certification course at 10:00am over at Warrington!

Friday:- Got up early - no voice to speak of, got ready and drove to Warrington for my course.  I knew where to go because I'd attended the preceding module
there last November.  

Had a great day there with Wendy and the other girls and came home tired but happy, thinking  'Well, at least we have Saturday at home.'

By now the dogs were taking themselves off to their beds as soon as I came down the stairs with 'grown-up' clothes on (they're used to me slobbing about in jeans and t-shirts and crocs and know if I'm dressed up we're off out!)! They weren't happy!

I got home and there, in the porch, was a letter.  I opened it. My cousin had only gone and got hitched and was having a reception on Saturday....! Aaaarrrgghhhh!

Somehow, I managed to sort an outfit, buy a present and make a card, as well as all those other annoying things we have to do every day that don't include CRAFTING or RELAXING! 

The wedding was lovely! And it was like a grand in the hand seeing our Kim looking so beautiful and meeting up with all the family again......the dogs were NOT impressed!

Sunday we dragged ourselves out of our bed, hauled ourselves to the park with the dogs, fell asleep over our cornflakes, didn't bother going shopping despite the empty fridge, I had to make a start on some DT projects but didn't get time to finish them because........WE WERE GOING TO A CONCERT AT 7:30PM!

Our lovely, beautiful, kind, generous daughter had bought Nic tickets to see Roger Hodgeson, singer-songwriter and erstwhile frontman of Supertramp, for Christmas and it was for Sunday night!

To say I've never felt less like going out is a colossal understatement! I was knackered! So was Nic. The dogs weren't speaking to us already! 

I can't describe the look of reproach shot at me from Charlie the Poodle as I came downstairs, once again in tidy clothes!  He didn't even bother to try and jump up and lick me, he just pushed past me and went to bed!

Still, they'll get over it!

I didn't really know what to expect of the concert.  It's been thirty years since I last saw Supertramp.  I hate seeing great artistes in their declining years if they are no longer in possession of that 'spark' that made them great. It makes me sad.  And Roger used to be in possession of a falsetto that would make a choirboy's eyes water!

I needn't have worried!  The concert was amazing!  It was just like listening to the cd - not a flaw in sight and Roger's 'new' band is equally amazing.

The audience was in the palm of his hand and erupted to standing ovation time after time. 

He will long remember playing Liverpool, I can promise you! Especially when half of the crowd, in unison, started to chant 'Roger is a Scouser, Roger is a Scouser ...na na na  na, na na na  na...!'....a great accolade in my city.

Then we came home, had some supper and Nic went, thankfully, to his bed.
I, on the other hand, had projects to finish.......!

....oh, and I forgot to mention - 7:45pm Saturday, just before leaving for the concert, a good pal turned up at our house and asked Nic to put together two flat-pack chests of drawers before Sunday night....!

It's been a mad, tiring but fun week! I wouldn't want to repeat it too soon, mind you...! LOL!  

I have to sign off now - Nic's home and he'll want his lunch about now!

Have a lovely, enjoyable Bank Holiday everyone!

Friday, 27 May 2011

I have finally been certified..........!

....no, you naughty reader, not as insane, but as a Copics Designer!  
How cool is that!?

I have to tell you that as well as being instructive, Wendy Kadzidlo  of Stamps & Memories is such a lovely lady that she made the course very enjoyable too - I'd do one a week if money was no object! LOL!

The other ladies in the group were really lovely and we all got on so extremely well that I'm sure we shall keep in touch.

I spent a fortune on 'stuff', of course but I needed it all and what the heck - it's not every week and there are no pockets in shrouds!

So, if anyone is interested in learning about how to use or improve their Copics skills, I will be able to offer classes in Liverpool as soon as I work out some lesson plans.

Should you be interested, please e-mail me and I'll start a list of convenient dates.

Woohoo! I'm so pleased with myself - if I was a piece of chocolate, I'd eat meself! LOL!  


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Top Tip Tuesday - Use two or more stamped images

Our lovely teamie Maggie has thought up this interesting theme for this week at Top Tip Tuesday.
It's not my week to join in with the fun, but I may well do one anyway as it's such a good theme!

Pop over to TTT and have a look at Maggie's fab tutorial if you're not sure how to do this - it's explained so well you'll be knocking them out by the score!

Gonna be checking up on you...!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Crafty CardMakers - The Challenging Challenge!

What a bright idea Gill at Crafty CardMakers has come up with - challenge us to do something we're not good at! LOL!  Well, with me that could cover all sorts!

I have a real problem using peel-offs. I don't care for them in general (...for me...) and use them only in moderation, but I've got a shedload of them in my room!

So here I've used them but in a different way. I placed the peel-off on some gloss-coated card (Astrolux) and brayered over it with my Big 'n' Juicy pads.

In the first one, I left the peel-off on and in the second one I removed the peel-off of the large rose before brayering over with a darker ink then removing the butterfly &  the smaller rose.

 You can layer like that a few times (..make sure you take off some of the sticky first so the peel-off doesn't damage the card...) before removing the  last of the peel-offs to expose the original card colour. You can even use the same peel-off in 

another position if you're careful.

Hope to see all your inspired entries next week! LOL!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Top Tip Tuesday - One for the Kids!

I'd already written all this and scheduled it but Blogger's little emergency in the week claimed it so I've had to try to remember what I wrote!

Well, we've all got them or have been one and this week at Top Tip Tuesday my lovely teamie.... has decided to give this week's challenge over to matters of the kiddie-kind!

Which is fine by me - doting  Nanna that I am...! LOL!

I've decided to use this digi-stamp of my own Eiglas brand showing Rapunzel either hauling her Prince Leopold into her lair to have her wicked way with him or trying to shove him back out saying  '...you dolt! Now we're both stuck up here!' or 'Rescue me..? Who's gonna rescue you then..?!'

I've coloured them with my beloved Copics although I'm running out of a few and need to buy some inks. I can't complain as they've lasted ages, at least 12 months and you all know I use them constantly. It will be interesting to see how long the new Marvy solvent-based markers last.

My lickle Ada will like this - I've made it 12 x 12 so it can be hung on the wall of her bedroom if she wants it.  The backing papers are my own Eiglas 'Roseheart' and one from stash.  The flowers are Poundshop and Prima.

Please do pop over to Tip Top Tuesday - the team have outdone themselves this week and there's so much inspiration there it's dangerous! LOL!

The fab sketch is from The Pink Elephant, so I'm going to enter it in their challenge too.
I hope you like it!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Another melting-pot brooch.....

I made this brooch with a specific demo in mind then changed my mind at the last minute so here it is anyway! LOL!

I made the pendant bit in my Melting-Pot (I'll be uploading a tutorial in the next few weeks) with a stamp from CaroLines DS31C262)   and then mounted it with an old dungaree clip from my button-box.
I coloured the clip with my Copics (...see, universally useful...!) and threaded a grosgrain ribbon through the clip-loop.
I then sewed in a brooch-pin at the back incorporating a beaded 'knot' I made with some carnival beads and a rondelle on silver wire.

It's been really hard to photograph. I've tried in natural light, electric light with and without flash but they all look exactly the same! I even tried enhancing it in Photoshop but that didn't change it either!

If I can get a better one I 'll upload it later.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Crafty CardMakers Challenge 46 - Embossing

Tracey is one of our newer teammates over at Crafty CardMakers and we think she's come up with a lovely first theme!

We all love embossing, whether wet or dry or by using our fancy embossing folders and that's what we challenge you to do this week. We want you to make a project featuring significant embossing.

On the DT's we do sometimes get a bit fed up, when spending our time and eyesight visiting all of your lovely blogs, with some peeps who have made no real effort to adhere to our themes but put a minimal accent on something which is otherwise unsuitable and bang it into the challenge.

It's a bit unfair of them because we love to encourage newbies at Crafty CardMakers but these people make it so hard for us to be accommodating for inexperience when it's often the experienced challenge crafters who do this, not the newbies.

Anyway, off me soapbox and onto the challenge.

Embossing they wanted - embossing they got.....! All four kinds! LOL!  
I used my Pergamanos and parchment for the first mat, then a Sizzix Tim Holtz embossing folder for the second mat then the butterflies were cut out and embossed with a Cuttlebug set.
I cheated a bit with the 'wet' embossing as I used a Glaze pen! Naughty naughty!
Well, it was just too late (4.00 am) by the time I did this card I couldn't use my heat-gun as OH was already in bed!

The whole has been mounted on rainbow card.

We have our lovely regular sponsor Joanna Sheen this week! There is a fab £10.00 voucher for her shop for some clever lickle embosser so do get over to CCM and get some inspiration from the team!


Have entered this into Creative Inspirations Paint - Butterflies

Friday, 13 May 2011

New digi..... Calvin & Neo

I've had a few requests for digi-stamps of different genres and most of them are fairly easily come by from established digi-artists, which doesn't mean I won't eventually make drawings of my own 'take' on subjects, but just now, I wanted to create images that are less readily catered for.

One suggestion was from a long-standing crafting pal of mine who finds it difficult to find images suitable for her own children, who are of mixed race but very definitely several generation western British, and not of American, African, Indian or any other culture.

I hadn't thought of this myself. The likes of Mo Manning does beautiful drawings of ethnic children in their sarees and rasta hats etc  but this friend wanted something slightly different so I came up with this one for a starter.

I had real difficulty finding inspirational images of young teens of any kind having fun, as opposed to drunk and throwing up or looking cool & moody!  Are our youth really this bad? Have to say - I'm not that naive but I was shocked.  So in the end I just used my imagination to create two young lads having a laugh.

I've used a fab sketch from There's Magic In the Air so I'll enter it into their challenge too!
I also, shock horror! - forsook my beloved Copics and used the new Marvy-le-Plume alcohol-based markers to colour this image and they're not bad. 
These were the TSV on QVC this week and as such, they were very reasonably priced at £22.23 including p&p for 20 pens.

If you're interested in my opinion of them, here it is!

1) they're nice and juicy, although, clearly, it's hard to tell how long they'll actually last.
2) they're thicker in the barrel than Copics and will not fit in the Copics boxes unless you use the lids and remove the 'grid' that keeps the Copics straight.
3) the brush point is very soft and nice to use for block colouring but a bit too thick for detail work - significantly thicker than the Copic. 
4) not as much pigment as Copics. I coloured a ribbon with a MLP and the equivalent colour Copic and the Copic won hands down on opacity.
5) nice-looking pens in comparison to the (to me) quite ugly ProMarkers.
6) although they are only coloured at the very tip, it's a nice finishing detail and would look good in a display stand

7) I'd like to know if Marvy are going to bring out the re-inkers for them as it would be a terrible waste to bin them when they're empty. I'll just use my Copics Various Inks in them if they don't.

If you like Calvin & Neo, I will be putting them on my Eiglassing digi-crafting blog when I get a minute but if you want them sooner than that, just e-mail me and I'll get them to you.


Sunday, 8 May 2011

CCM Spot 45 - Inchies

......inchies...?  Inchies...? What in the name of all that's crafty are INCHIES...?  
I heard you! LOL!   I said much the same thing myself when our team-mate Cazro came up with this mad theme!

Apparently, inchies are, as might seem logical, little inch squares on which one creates a mini-work of art.  And over at Crafty CardMakers this week, our lovely Cazro, demands no less than three of these little blighters on our projects.

So, much head-scratching and umming and aah-ing later, a lickle light-bulb went off in the Eiglas walnut....I mean brain and it came up with a small idea!

Ages and ages ago I bought some small ornamental Chinese coins and they came in two little divided trays. I've long since used the coins but I kept the lickle trays thinking, 'they're cute, they might serve a purpose one day'.... That was about 1825 days ago, so I'm glad I didn't hold my breath! LOL

Anyway......here it is!

What I did was......

I painted the trays roughly with gold paint. (I ran out of acrylic, so I made my own with a painting medium and gold powder.)
I then painted over this with Tim Holtz Distress Crackle paint in Picket Fence.
When this was dry, I wiped it over with a dry babywipe soaked in strong tea so the gold of the cracks was toned down a little and the white of the Picket Fence was aged a little.

Then I adhered a small hinge with Pinflair glue gel and a leaf ornament to the front.

When I was a child, I spent hours playing with my Mother's button-box, sorting them and tiding them (sad little child! LOL!) and these trays reminded me of that button-box as it was the same shape and had the same divisions so that decided what was going inside!

It had to be a selection of those same buttons I played with as a child! I kept my Mum's button-box and some of the buttons were quite old so these I used inside.

First I added a layer of Anna Griffin Clear Glass Finish and  a variety of micro-beads from Martha Stewart. Before it was dry, I pushed in the buttons.


I may continue to add lickle bits over time and I look forward to having it displayed in my finally re-decorated hall in the Autumn!

Please pop over to CCM and have a look at the wonderful projects my clever teamies have come up with this week - they're amazing!

Hope you like it!

Entered into
Annabelle Stamps - Squares (10) (F)

Monday, 2 May 2011

Top Tip Tuesday - Everybody Join In...!

...and that means YOU! LOL!
Over at the challenge blog we have an 'open' theme which means your entries will be PHENOMENAL because you can choose your favourite stash, your favourite colours and your best techiques - so no excuse!

I don't really have favourite anythings as I love it all! So I've used my brand new 'Eiglas' digistamp 'Ramona - Queen of Rock!' , coloured her with my beloved Copics and blinged her up!

Not only is there a challenge over at the Top Tip Tues blog but there are some marvellous tips and hints to be gleaned over there thanks to our ladyboss suggesting all the team also add a tip each!  I'm gonna go over there and collect them all!

If you like 'Ramona' and you'd like her, she's over at my 'Eiglassing' site or just e-mail me and I'll send you what you want!


Entered into

Papertake Weekly - Anything goes
Craft your Days Away - Music/Dance
Simply Create - Rock the Metal
Papercrafting Journey - Bling!

Flash - the Drummer...!

Well, they all have them.......bands that is! In every collection of musicians there is the odd one out and that's our drummer Flash! 

Being as he's like me - a ging that is - he kinda sticks out in a crowd and his 6 ft 4 inch height does nothing to blend him onto the surroundings either but none of this matters to Flash - he's only interested in bashing those Zildjians and pummelling those skins!

He's a really good rock drummer - great at holding the beat steady and blowing the proverbial minds of the audience with his phenomenal solos!

If you like Flash, he's over at my Eiglassing site or you can e-mail me and I'll send him to you!


Challenges entered

Stamps R Us - For the Men
Craft Your Days Away - Music/Dance

CCM Ch 45 - Steampunk/ Machines

It's my week to choose the theme over at Crafty CardMakers this week and I've chosen the twin themes of 'Steampunk' and 'Machines'.

My lovely teamies have really pulled out all the stops as they really hadn't a clue what Steampunk' was until they found out what my theme was! If you were to pop over to CCM and have a look at their projects you will be so impressed!

For my project I've made a birthday card for my Hubby Nic in a Steampunk style and with added machines!

It's a triptych card size-wise as it has two equal 21cm squ leaves and one, the right hand, 13cm x 21cm.

For the frontispiece, I've used my own Eiglas 'Vintage Machines' paper and on the right hand leaf and main centre inside my own Eiglas 'Cogs' paper (both will be on my new 'Vintage and Steampunk' Paper Crafting kit when it's finished) 

I've also used Tim Holtz Sizzix dies 'Gadget Gears' , 'Tickets' and 'Bookplates'. I've used another Sizzix die in the top left hand corner.

The little 'closure' is just a jeans button, adhered with a brad and one of the small 'gears' adhered to a small chipboard circle and attached with an eyelet so it rotates. A small semi-circle was cut out to facilitate this.

The bookplate was attached with two small screws.
The tickets were distressed and stamped with TH Distress inks. A small bulldog-clip was attached to the tickets.

Hope you like it!

Our sponsor this week is 'One Stop Cards & Crafts' who are offering a £10.00 voucher to spend in their lovely store!

Look forward to seeing what you all come up with!

Challenges entered

Stamps R Us - For the Men
The Crazy Challenge - Cards For Men

Lots going on at Chez Eiglas... ;)

I've been home from work now for nearly three months - and it has been wonderful...! I've drawn, painted, had an amazing time with ...