Monday, 19 December 2011

Time for a challenge

Hi everyone! Well its that time of year again, Christmas is nearly here and shortly after it will be time for the dreaded New Years Resolutions... Eek! In the next couple of days I plan to write a post summing up how this years resolution of turning crafty as gone. The fact that I'm still blogging is a clue that it's gone well lol! I will definately be continuing with cardmaking, decoupage and basically anything else I want to try but I'm setting myself a new challenge for next year...

Over the last 8/9 months that I have been cardmaking I have collected a large stash of crafty bits. Although my stash is nowhere near as big as some peoples, my problem is that I don't have a craft room, just the corner of my bedroom (and to be honest, at the moment, half of my floor too!). As well as this, I've also decided that I must make my money go further next year, so here is my next challenge. I've decided to go all posh and declare it properly haha.

I, Hayley Usher declare that for the next year, commencing today 19.12.2011 I will limit myself to one craft shop visit per month, to one shop of my choice. After each visit I will blog what I have purchased and give my reason for buying it/them. I will make do with what is already in my stash and recycled materials (foil sweet wrappers, cardboard boxes, drinks cans etc) or things that I am given by others. I am doing this to make a dent in my crafty stash and to (hopefully) spend less of crafting materials/equipment.

So theres my declaration, now I just have to stick to it for a whole year! (What have I done...) Feel free to joing me if you are up for a challenge!

Hope everyone has a fabulous Christmas!
Hayley x

Thursday, 8 December 2011

My first craft fair

I attended my first craft fair on Sunday and I loved it! It was great to meet other crafters and get experience at selling my crafts. Ok so getting there could have gone smoother, it was hailing and a windscreen wiper fell off my car... not the best start. Once I got there everything was fine, I made enough money to cover the cost of the table and a bit extra. Overall I really enjoyed it. In the rush of getting everything packed and in the car I forgot to take my camera to get a pic of my table. Oh well.

Another good thing that came out of the fair was I was inspired to finally make a facebook page! Heres the link, let me know what you think =)

Im taking a break from making new cards for the next few days and I'll start fresh next week. Hopefully by then I'll know if I've been successful in applying to be on the Crafty Cardmakers DT, it was extended until the weekend. Ooo the suspense lol!

Thanks for dropping bye!
Hayley x

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Recycled Christmas wreath and decorations

Hello! Hope everyone is having a great week! I'm back from the spa break I received for my birthday, so I'm all refreshed and yesterday I did some serious Christmas crafting! The team over at the Crafty Cardmakers blog are having another DT call based on their current challenge; recycling. I really enjoyed this challenge and although technically this is two seperate projects, they were made using the same medium, at the same time, as a set. You will see what I mean shortly. So for my entry, I have made a Christmas wreath and matching tree decorations out of recycled cardboard. See if you can tell exactly what kind of cardboard I used... Heres the pics!

A close up of the bow, complete with Christmas teddies!

Can you tell what they are yet? Well they are kitchen roll/toilet roll tubes that have been flattened, painted and glued together. The wreath was inspired by this great tutorial and I used the same technique to make the tree decorations. The middle of the tree decoartions are pages from an unwanted copy of "Oliver!" (after all, whats more Christmassy than watching Oliver on Christmas day?) cut with my bigshot, with a sweet jingle bell in the center.

I am entering this project in the Crafty Cardmakers challenge and DT call.
Wish me luck!

Hayley x

Friday, 18 November 2011

Tatty Teddy Christmas cards

The Christmas craft fair that I signed up for is fast approaching and I wanted to share a few of the cards that I've made so far. These are the cards that I have made using Docrafts fab Tatty Teddy range. This is my first craft fair so I'm hoping they will be popular!

Hope you like them! Well I'd better get back to work =)
Thanks for dropping by!
Hayley x

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Finding Inspiration when card making

Hope everyone is having a fab week! It's been a good one for me, I turned 21 yesterday and was completely spoiled by friends and family, had a very successful shopping trip today and on Saturday I'm heading to a spa weekend to be pampered with the girls.Life is good =D

So anyway, this is my second post in a kind of blog series that I have started to help beginners get into card making. If you want to read the first post you can find it here.

This week I want to talk about inspiration. After all, you can have as much equipment, paper, card and embellishments as you want but without some kind of inspiration it can be really difficult to decide what to do with them. So how do we find inspiration if it doesn't just pop up out of nowhere? Here are a few ideas that may help.

  • Sort through your craft stash- You might find something that you forgot you had and think "Ahh I can use this to..." I have done this several times and it hasn't failed me yet.
  • Keep a notebook with you- If you are out and about and an idea begins to form write it down for later.
  • Look at cards that you have made or received in the past- Do you like the design? How could you improve it or change it for a different occassion?
  • Choose a colour scheme and try to make a card using those colours- Sometimes just choosing which colours to use can spark an idea.
  • Take a break- Go for a walk, bake cakes, watch tv. When you stop looking for inspiration, ironically it can appear from nowhere.
  • Tidy your work area- Normally I'm not what you would call a neat freak (my mam will definately vouch for that!) but if I find it difficult to concentrate if my desk is really cluttered and a couple of times I have gotten an idea while clearing my desk.
Tidy(ish) work area, tidy mind

Hope this helps! If you have any other suggestions then please comment below.

Bye for now!
Hayley x

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

An introduction to card making

Well I've been card making for several months now and it occurred to me that when I first started, I used a multitude of websites, blogs, books and magazines to learn about the craft. I had to learn about one aspect of card making from one source, another aspect from a different source and so on. It would have been handy if I could have gotten all the information I needed from one place. So I've decided that over the next few weeks I will attempt to blog about different aspects of card making, I kind of go-to guide. I'm not for one minute saying that I'm an expert because I'm not, but I hope that sharing what I have learnt about card making over the last 8 months will help someone else who is interested in taking it up. So here goes...

Essential tools
  • Scissors
  • Paper trimmer
  • Ruler
  • Craft Knife
  • Pens, markers or paints
Not essential but very handy
  • Hot glue gun
  • Bone folder
  • Paper punches
  • Diecutter 
Card blanks and envelopes
There is a huge range of pre-cut card blanks and envelopes that you can buy from craft shops and larger department stores, that come in just about every size shape and colour you can think of. Alternatively, if you want to make your own card blanks, you can buy packs of envelopes, unless your card is an unusual shape then you may have to make your own envelope too.

Tape and Glue

When it comes to finding the right kind of glue or tape, you are spoiled for choice. Personally I find that double sided tape is essential for sticking down card, paper and sentiments. Double sided foam is extremely useful for giving a 3D effect to sentiments and card toppers. Glue pens or sticky dots are great for sticking small embellishments, while silicon glue or my personal favourite, a hot glue gun, are used to secure bulkier embellishments. A glue stick is also useful to stick lightweight objects and paper or card.


Craft shops, stationery shops and department stores offer a massive range of plain and patterned paper and card. Below is my list of different types of paper and their uses.
  • Patterned paper- Comes in all colours and patterns, used to create a background on your card blank.
  • Textured paper- Either handmade or embossed with a pattern. Adds texture and dimension to cards.
  • Glittered paper- Popular on female and childrens cards.
  • Holographic/mirror card- Popular on childrens cards. (Bare in mind that if you need to photograph your cards, holographic card shines and can make it difficult to take a clear photo)
  • Accetate- Not really a paper but is transparent and used to create windows or is stamped on to give a "floating" effect.

An embellishment is an item that you attach to your card and there is a vast amount to choose from. For example:
  • Card toppers
  • Paper/card flowers
  • Ribbon
  • Stick on gems
  • Chipboard shapes or characters
  • Sequins
Stamping and decoupage

Stamping and decoupage are both very popular techniques for decorating cards. Stamping requires ink, some stamps and a medium such as markers, pencils or watercolours to colour them in (I use Promarkers). Decoupage is the technique of layering numbered pictures on top of each other with foam pads or hot glue to give a 3D effect. Decoupage sheets are used for this technique and can be found at your local craft shop.

Well I think thats the basics covered! Hopefully it makes sense and I haven't missed out something important. Feel free to leave a comment, letting me know what you think! Also check back in a few days for the next installment =)

Thanks for dropping by!
Hayley x

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Charisma Cards challenge entry

Well I'm still knuckling down making Christmas cards and I've decided to enter this one in the Charisma cards challenge which this week is Anything Goes!

I love decoupage at the moment and when I saw this cute Forever Friends topper in my local craft shop, I knew I had to get it. The bears are so cute, I had a forever friends bedroom when I was a kid. The topper and sentiment are both Docraft's Forever Friends range, paper is from my stash and the stick on ribbon is Fizzy Moon. I love the 3D effect! I haven't decided which pile to put this card in, theres the "christmas craft fair" pile or the "friends and family cards" pile. Guess it's just going on my desk for now!

Thanks for dropping by!
Hayley x

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Fizzy Moon Christmas cards

Hi everyone! Well I've started to really focus on Christmas cards now and I bought a pack of Fizzy Moon chipboard characters last week, so I started experimenting. I love the cute characters, they work well with loads of colour combinations. Heres what I came up with:
Sweet with traditional colours and festive ribbon

Bright and sparkly
Sorry I can't get this pic to go the right way up!
 Thats three more cards for the Christmas pile but a lot more to go! I'd better get on with it lol

Bye for now!
Hayley x

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Lazy day

I've had a lazy day today, assembling toppers for Christmas cards. Well I'm feeling a bit under the weather again so this was just what I needed! It felt quite relaxing and theraputic.

 Can't wait to make Christmas cards out of these for the "Christmas craft fair" box. They are just too sweet!

Thanks for dropping by!
Hayley x

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Crafts and me challenge

So I'm finally getting into the swing of making Christmas cards and decided to enter this one into the Crafts and Me challenge, which this week is- Blue, green and pink!

I'm still in love with easel cards and this adorable Me to you topper was just the right size!

I'm not sure if you can tell on the pic but the bear is decoupaged to look 3D. For this card I used:
Tatty Teddy Christmas topper (layered using hot glue gun)
Papers from stash
Anitas peel off sentiment

Well thats it! Now this card can go in the ever increasing "Christmas craft fair" pile =)

Thanks for dropping by!
Hayley x

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Back to normality

Hi everyone! Yikes two weeks since my last post! Sorry for the absence but for a few days work caught up with me and then I've spent the last week in bed with tonscilitus so bad I could barely talk and had to eat nothing but soup and icecream. I'm still on the antibiotics and not feeling 100% but I have vowed to start crafting again now I'm feeling a little better. After all Christmas is getting steadily closer and I have a lot of Christmas cards to make! I've also signed up for a Christmas craft fair on the 4th December so I need to get my bum in gear!

I also need to (belatedly) thank everyone who commented on my entry for the DT call at Crafty Cardmakers. Unfortunately I wasn't one of the lucky chosen ones but I genuinely had fun applying and it was great to see all the lovely comments from people wishing me luck. Thanks to the very talented people from Crafty Cardmakers for the opportunity!

So back to crafting tomorrow (yay!) and hopefully I'll have a new project to post on here very soon! Now I must go to sleep as it's waaay after midnight and I still haven't managed to drift off, hence the quick update lol.

Bye for now!
Hayley x

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Crafty Cardmakers DT call

I noticed a few days ago that Crafty Cardmakers are having a DT call so I've decided to have a go. Well you never know unless you try and I'm always up for a challenge! To apply I needed to make a new card on the theme of  "New Beginnings" and showcase my three favourite cards that I think show off my style. So firstly my New Beginnings card.

When I think of New Beginnings, the first thing that springs to mind is the birth of a baby. After all its not only a new beginning for the baby, its a new start for the parents too. So here is what I came up with:

I'm in love with easel cards at the moment, they are much simpler to make than you think but they look so effective. I used my baby boy stamp by Kars and coloured him in with my Promarkers. Papers and sentiment are from my stash.

So on to my favourite cards. This one is a card I made in July for my friend's birthday, so I went very summery.

I think this card shows how I often use the month or season to help me decide on a colour scheme/combination. It also shows my love of stamping and using my Promarkers!

Next I have a card I made last week for another friends birthday.
I used parts from a Kanban kit to decoupage this card. I like the 3D effect you get from layering pieces on top of each other with foam pads.

So finally here is a card that I think shows how I like using embossing folders to add texture. It also shows my love of making cards for children. Kids cards are the most fun!

So there we go, my three favourite cards! Hopefully they show my style of cardmaking and my favourite techniques. Well this my entry, fingers crossed!

Thanks for visiting!
Hayley x

Monday, 26 September 2011

Papertake challenge entry

Hi everyone, hope you are all well. It's just a quick post tonight to show the card I made for my friends Birthday on Saturday. I used a Kanban card kit and I think it worked well. My friend loved it anyway =)

I would like to enter this card in the Papertake Weekly challenge with this week is Creature Comforts.
Bye for now,
Hayley x

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Wizard Easel card- Cute card Thursday challenge

Hi everyone, hope you are all well! Its been manic the last few days and I have a bit of breathing space this morning before a particularly busy afternoon so I decided to upload this easel card I made a few days ago.

I used my star embossing folder to create the background for the wizard and the sentiment is from a large pack I bought from a craft show. I decided to keep it simple so that the easel card didn't look crowded and I think it paid off.

I would like to enter this card in the Cute card Thursday challenge which this week is- anything goes!

Thanks for dropping by!
Hayley x

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Pirate Birthday card

Now that I've finished my bedroom I have finally been able to have a proper play with my Bigshot! I used both a diecutter and an embossing folder for this project and I think it worked really well.

I used my new pirate stamp, which I picked up at the Ross Paper Show when it came to Sunderland a few weeks ago. He is so much fun to colour in, I used my promarkers. I used a nesting die with the gold card to create a background and a Cuttlebug embossing folder to create the star border along the bottom of the card. Then I just added the sentiment and age to finish. I'm really happy with how this turned out.

I would like to enter this card for the Creative Inspirations challenge which this week is, anything goes!

Thanks for looking!
Hayley x

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Yay my room is finally finished so I can get back to doing some serious crafting! I love my new room, no more garish purple and now that I have rearranged the furniture it feels much bigger too. =D

Heres a few pics:

So I'm happy now =) I'll be posting my projects again soon!
Bye for now,
Hayley x

Monday, 22 August 2011

First attempt at an easel card

It's been a long time since I posted a project on here, mainly because my room is still not sorted. I am never ordering furniture through that well known catalogue based store that begins with an A ever again. Its been 3 weeks since the delivery men stood the boxes with my wardrobes/desk/drawers in a puddle, therefore water damaging them and I still don't know when the replacements are coming. Ridiculous.

But never mind, I'm using the dining room table as my craft area at the moment, to my mams horror (shes a clean freak and does not appreciate my clutter). So my mam asked me to make her a 50th birthday card for someone at work and I took it as an opportunity to have a go at making an easel card. I'm pleased with it for a 1st attempt, sorry in advance for the picture.

Everything I used was from my stash and I can't really remember where I got it all from. I attached the net flower with my glue gun and the scalloped square is cut with a nesting die used with my Big Shot (yes I finally got a diecutter and I love it!)

My mam is impressed so I'm happy =D. Hopefully next time I post I'll have my furniture!

Hayley x

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

An update

Hi everyone! Unfortunately this isn't the post saying that my room is now finished and I can get back to crafting. I wish. About three weeks on from my last post I have painted my room and got a new mattress, so everything is ready for my new wardrobes... Unforunately the delivery men damaged my wardrobes when they brought them so they have had to go back and I have to wait 3 weeks for new ones! Grrr

Anyway hopefully service will resume as usual soon. I bought a Bigshot diecutter which I love and have been messing around with it for the last few days but I can't wait to unpack all my and start cardmaking properly again =) Hopefully it won't be too long.

It's scary times in England at the moment as I'm sure everyone is aware, unless you live in a media free bubble! I don't live in London or any of the affected areas but with riots spreading through the country I might not be able to say that in the next few days. Why people would smash up their own town is beyond me, they are scum and I hope they are dealt with quickly. I hope everyone in the blog world is safe and has not been affected.

Hopefully next time I post there will be better news.

Take Care
Hayley x

Thursday, 14 July 2011

I might be missing for a while

My room is getting redecorated over the next couple of weeks so I've to pack all of my belongings into boxes. I can't wait for my room to get finished because it desperately needs updating (when I was 14 painting the walls bright purple and getting liliac fabric covered wardrobes seemed like a GREAT idea but now 6 years later it doesnt feel so great!) Plus I really need shelves and more storage space since I unleashed my crafty side and collected a ton of papers, stamps, promarkers and embellishments.

So the good news is soon I'll be way more organised and won't feel embarressed about my room anymore but the bad news is my craft stash is at the bottom of a large stack of storage boxes, so no more cardmaking until I'm sorted... gulp.

I won't be posting new projects for a while but I will return =) and until then I'm just gonna lurk around the blogsphere until I can start crafting again.

Until then.
Hayley x

Friday, 8 July 2011

Crafts and me challenge entry

I know I've been raving on about Molly Blooms stamp lately and this one is my new favorite, George in Wheelbarrow. It was such a joy to colour in and this is what I came up with:
I would like to enter this card in the Crafts and Me challenge which this week is- favourites
Have a good weekend!
Hayley x

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Papered jewellery box

It was my friend Danielle's birthday this week so I decorated a plain wooden jewellery box with some pretty rose print papers from my stash. Its not perfect but it turned out ok and Danielle loves it, phew!
I would like to enter this project in the Charisma Cardz challenge which this week is- all about flowers
Bye for now!
Hayley x

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Life's a picnic!

I've made another summery card today, it must be the sunny weather we have had the last few days, it's getting to my head! Although there has been a lot of thunder too. On monday I burnt my neck and shoulders while sitting in the garden, then on the night we had thunder and torrential rain. There was something ironic about watching the rain pelt down, while applying aftersun to my sunburn! So here's my card:
 Yes I got another Molly Blooms stamp! (Two more actually but youll see the other one later.) This one is Molly with Catapillar and I coloured her in with Promarkers. Everything else on the card is from my stash.

Bye for now =)
Hayley x

Monday, 27 June 2011

Versatile blogger award!

Woohoo! Dorset Girl nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award, thankyou so much!

So if I've got this right I have to say 7 random things about myself, then nominate another 7 people for the award. So here's my 7 things:

  1. I don't think I've mentioned this on blogger yet. I'm a blackbelt in karate and run two karate clubs with a friend. Yes, seriously!
  2. My car is a purple Renault Clio called Violet
  3. I will just about anything apart from custard, gravey and cereal with milk on. However I  will eat dry cereal and I drink milk. Strange I know lol.
  4. I am a self confessed shop-aholic
  5. I am also addicted to chocolate
  6. On my dad's side I am one of the youngest of 23 cousins and two of those cousins have children older than me!
  7. At college I studied childcare and had to design and make a soft toy for a child. While sewing it together I managed to sew the toy rabbit's head to my jumper sleeve and the rest of my class thought it was hilarious
Ok so now to nominate 7 people for the award. This was really hard, there's so many great blogs on here!
  1. Ashley at Jellybeans odds and ends- Sews lovely creations, including skirts and dresses.
  2. Lisa at Craft Fairy- Shares some great die cutting tips and tricks
  3. Barbara at Hunny Bunny Cards- Makes gorgeous cards
  4. Inspired by Felix- Sweet sewing projects and a cute baby!
  5. Carly makes Stuff- Sews gorgeous dresses and is documenting every book she reads this year
  6. Jenjoy Crafting-Makes amazing cards
  7. Kelly at My Little crafty blog- Makes great cards with Magnolia stamps
Phew, done! Now I'll try to email everyone before I go to bed, its been a long day!
Hayley x

Weekend crafting

Hi everyone, hope you've all had a great weekend! Yesterday we had torrential rain and thunder but today is red hot and sunny. Great, although I can see some large grey clouds moving in, so it may not last very long! I've been crafting over the weekend and here is one of the cards I came up with, I'll try to remember to upload the other one later!

The cute balloon paper is from Abi's Craft, the koala stamp was a free gift off Quick cards magazine and the party hats and greeting are from a pack of stamps I got from Wilkinsons. Stamps are coloured with Promarkers and it was really quick to make.

Enjoy your Monday!
Hayley x

Friday, 24 June 2011

DIY Promarker storage

The last few days I've been trying to find a better storage solution for my Promarkers, as they were living in plastic beakers. In a crafty magazine I saw an advert for a "Desktop Promarker shelving unit" and quickly turned the page when I saw the price, £50!? Scandalous, so I made my version with a large teabag box, admittedly it will be less sturdy than the wooden version but it cost me approx £50 less so I'm not complaining =D

The inside

Plenty of room for more Promarkers!

Flowery paper on top

Fizzy Moon heart paper on the sides
I paper-mached the outside of the box with PVA glue and some of my old magazines then applied a coat of geso. When that dried I realised the box still wasnt very strong so I reinforced the inside with cardboard from an old cereal box then added shelves made from corrugated cardboard. It seemed more sturdy so I papered the sides with floral and heart print papers and viola! Done and made from recycled materials too! I'm quite pleased with it and theres plenty of room for more Promarkers, so I have an excuse to go and buy more! =P

Enjoy your weekend!
Hayley x

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Here comes the sun!

Or not... The weather here is awful at the moment, sunny for a little bit, then pouring rain and black cloud for the rest of the day! I've made a summery card anyway seeing as its June, hopefully the weather will brighten up sometime soon! So yesterday I was raving on about my Molly Bloom stamp and how much I love it, so I've made another card, this time with a bit more detail:

I remembered to take note of which promarkers I used this time, so here we go:

Face- Soft peach, blush, sunkissed pink
Arms, legs- Soft peach, bluss
Hair- Lemon
Top- Antigue pink, rose pink, blossom
Shorts and hat- Saffron
Wellies and bandana- Antigue pink, blossom
Sunflower- Lemon, cocoa, leaf green

The papers and ribbon are from my stash and the sentiment is an Anita stamp. The flower is a metal shape onto which I glued a punched out flower and a stick on pearl. I would like to enter this card in the Papertake Weekly challenge which this week is summer themed.

Bye for now =)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Playing with Molly Bloom stamps

Yesterday I found this adorable Molly Bloom stamp in my local craft shop and I couldn't wait to ink it up and start crafting! I loved it so much I made two cards straightaway!
So I made this one first in sweet pastel colours, I coloured and shaded with promarkers (sorry I forgot to list exactly which colours I used). Then I decided to make another one in brighter colours.

Its such a sweet stamp, I'm half way through colouring another one in, think I'll try blonde hair this time =D