Calendar in detail

My desktop calendar is based on an easel card.

Take a card blank and fold the card front in half.

What would normally be the inside of the card (where you would write your greeting) is the base of the card and that is where I position the calendar.

I die cut 12 tags from patterned paper or card, and stamp the month stamp from my Paper Artsy set 12 times on plain card. I stick each month to the front of each tag. I used the perforations function on my paper trimmer across the tags so that the months can be torn off as they are used.

I stick the tags together to make a pad and stick the pad to the base of the card near the bottom. The pad forms the stopper which props up the front of the card where the image will be.

I stamp an image onto white card and colour it with my promarkers, adding touches of glitter glue (Stickles) and then mat the image onto patterned card or paper. Then I stick this to the front. Make sure you only stick it to the bottom half of the front as the card. Do not obstruct the halfway fold.

I continue adding embellishments to the front such as die cut flowers.

The calendar folds flat but “sits up” when in use.

I use my Crafters Companion Ultimate Pro to make a box (obviously fold the calendar flat to send) and the project is then ready to gift.

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Flat Lay Photography

Forget the light box!

Clear a space on the table in good light and arrange your project with some props and take a photograph looking directly down.

If your card won’t lay flat then weight it down with a couple of pebbles, a bull dog clip, the corner of a book…

You can really have fun with these and you don’t have to worry about what is in the background – just create a picture using whatever you have available.

Flowers

Details of how I make my flower embellishments. Great for crafting on a small budget.

If you lack space or you are crafting on a budget you won’t want to purchase flowers in every colour.

My solution is to die cut a flower shape from white card (a great way of using up scraps) and I colour the card to match my project with promarkers or distress ink.

I then lay the flower on a fabric pad and rub it all over on one side with my embossing tool. This makes it curl.

I paint it with Perfect Pearls mist and then use a brad and an iridescent sequin, or a blob of perfect pearls 3D paint in the middle to finish it off.

Let go of the rock – remission and relapse

Trying to explain how I felt when my son went into remission and then relapsed

You can let go of the rock now, they said. Just put it down and walk away. You don’t need the rock anymore. Leave it there.

I put the rock down slowly. I looked at my hands. They were rough. They were a bit dirty. I tried not to look at the rock but when I closed my eyes I could still see it. I knew it was there.

Get back to normal, people said. You don’t have the rock anymore. You are like us now. Just put it down and walk away.

I took a step away and looked at my hands again. They were still rough and dry. Small marks reminded me of the days when carrying the rock had been so very painful. Others had nice hands. Others had nice nails. I glanced back at the rock. What would happen now? Nobody had told me what the rock would do if I wasn’t holding it. Nobody had told me what was next for me now the rock had been taken away.

I tried to do normal things, think about normal things, say normal things. But my thoughts always went back to the rock. The rock had been with me for so long. I had seen things that other people without rocks wouldn’t see.

So I went back to the people who were still carrying their rocks and I tried to help them. I met people who had only just picked up their rock. I showed them an easier way to carry their rock and assured them that they would be ok and that a day would come when they didn’t have to carry their rock. I spoke to people who had stopped carrying their rock long before I stopped carrying mine. They could still remember their rock.

Then one day, out of the blue, on a day when my hands were no longer sore, I noticed something by my feet. It was a rock. It said, PICK ME UP. With a heavy heart and strong hands, I picked up that rock and I walked with it again.

Hold this rock – diagnosis and treatment

Trying to explain my feelings about being Mum to a child with cancer

A stranger asked me to hold on to a piece of rock. I asked why I had to hold the rock when other people were walking past, but nobody knew. Just hold it they said. Don’t let go.

The rock was heavy and a bit awkward. But I didn’t let go. It started to slow me down though. And there were places I couldn’t go because I was holding the rock.

The more time went by, I got used to holding the rock. After a while I could hold the rock with just one hand and then I had the other hand free to do other things.

People asked me about the rock and then some had a look on their face and you knew they felt lucky that they didn’t have to hold onto the rock. After a while people got used to seeing me with the rock and they asked less questions.

I learned to tuck the rock under my arm occasionally but I couldn’t keep it there for too long. I worried that if I didn’t hold the rock properly that something very bad would happen.

I met some other people who also had rocks to hold. Their rocks were all different. The other people with rocks didn’t know why they had to hold theirs either. We talked about our rocks. We made silly jokes about our rocks. We cried over our rocks. Other people without rocks didn’t know what we were saying. They didn’t want to know what we were saying.

After a very long time, when I had found that I was stronger than I thought I could be, even though my hands were rough and sore, even though I was ok with holding the rock and doing other things, even though I felt comfortable with the rock, the rock was taken away. You don’t need the rock anymore they said. You can go back to what you were doing before you had to carry the rock they said. I can’t go back, I said. I am lost and I am different and I cannot forget how I carried that rock for so long.

What am I going to tell my readers today?

A few blog prompts if you need them

Sometimes we can get writer’s block (I also get writer’s cramp but that’s a whole new story!), so I have a page in my bullet journal where I list blog prompts as they come into my head, ready for the day I stare at the screen and think “what am I going to tell my readers today?”

Here are just a few ideas:

  • If you are a crafter, the most obvious thing is to share a post about a current work in progress (there are always several unfinished projects languishing in my home) or a post about something you have just finished. How about a gallery of some of your favourite projects?
  • Write a review of something you like – a book, favourite pens or a local coffee shop…
  • The reason behind your blog may have already been covered in your About Me, but is there a strong reason behind a campaign you are involved in, or a healthy habit you have adopted?
  • What I learned from…?
    • another person
    • an experience
  • 10 things about…
  • Something in your past you thought you couldn’t live without but now no longer use (sandwich toaster maybe?)
  • A photo gallery; you could make a gallery from old photos or give yourself a theme and go out and take new ones
  • Favourite colour schemes
  • Great phone apps
  • What your careers adviser suggested v. your actual career
  • Things that make you happy
  • An old tradition no longer followed
  • A list of blog post prompts

You are more than welcome to use these ideas,  and if you link back to me that would be absolutely great because I would be really happy to read your answers to my prompts.

Thanks for reading

Xx