Artistic Compromise

When I started out making cards, it was just an outlet for my artistic cravings that was pent up in me for so long that I never even knew I had them! Since I started turning my card fanaticism into a tiny business though (only in size not in hours spent…), I have been confronted by what I call artistic compromise.

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Unless you’re a card maker or artist or otherwise artistically inclined, I realise that most people will not appreciate the work that goes into making a card. Whether its designer paper or hand painted backgrounds, the general public doesn’t see the difference. (My hubby says that I should see it as a compliment!) A friend once told me that she liked that one of my cards was crooked, as it showed that it was hand made! I also realised that most people go straight for the sentiment in the card…I used to be one of them…without paying much attention to the design.

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So now, before I start making a card, especially if its a gift, I think about what most people will like and not about what I like making the most. This is probably why I started making shadow box cards. People loved them because they were different and could also serve as a home decoration. Its lucky that I really do enjoy spending hours on my computer designing them and then hand decorating them with some heat embossing or a little watercolour. I also get an extra pleasure knowing that  people are willing to pay for something I designed, its a real confidence booster!

Yet it still doesn’t satisfy my cravings to make cards that most people will not fully appreciate.  I love making clean and simple cards for example, or create my own backgrounds with stencils and inks…or nail polish, but then I think, thats not enough! Theres not enough die cuts or 3D effect or… so people won’t really appreciate it.

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This is why I am so grateful to all the card challenges out there. I can create, satisfy my cravings for new techniques, and be virtually surrounded by people who will appreciate what went into making the cards, even if its not your style of cards. (I actually find it ironic that we love doing something “old-fashioned” like card making and then spend more time in the tech world, photographing, editing and blogging about it! Lol)

I’ve also been wondering what to do with all the cards I make for challenges. Maybe we could start a Card Exchange challenge, or a platform to exchange our cards… We can then all be sure that our cards would be appreciated & treasured! The ones I’ve been lucky enough to receive from a few of you, have been put through an X-ray to examine all the different techniques you used and are up on my inspiration board! So if anyone out there knows of such a challenge or wants to start one, I’d be eager to join!

In the meantime, I’ve decided to give away the cards I make for challenges. This one is going tomorrow to a blogger friend who is going through some hard times.

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Anyway, sorry for the ramblings! If you made it through to here, thanks for listening and now to the card I made.

Therese’s card over at “The Flower Challenge” has been haunting me for the last few weeks and I’ve been dying to CASE her. Seeing the heart in Uniko’s “Anything Goes with an option of Love”challenge gave me the idea how.

Using my Silhouette portrait plotter, I made a die cut from one of Uniko’s Valentine digital freebies (Beverly, I hope you make a die cut out of this, cause its gorgeous!) and inlaid it over a watercolour panel I had painted using my Tombow pens, Momento inks and Brushos. I actually wanted to use a nail polish marbling panel, but I also wanted to take part in the many watercolour challenges out there too, and I wasn’t sure if nail polish qualified as watercolour!

The sentiment from Stampendous was simply stamped with Versafine black ink to keep it nice and clean. The whole panel was cut with My Favourite Things scallop rectangle and adhered onto a kraft card stock.

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I really love how the colours blended together. When my daughter saw it, she said “Wow you made that! Its awesome!” THAT really made me feel proud 😊

Thanks again for bearing with my ramblings and I would love to know your thoughts on artistic compromise.

Thanks for stopping by.

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I’m also playing along with:

CAS Watercolour Card challenge cas-watercolour

AAA Cards – Watercolour aaacards

Happy Little Stampers – Watercolour challenge HLS watercolour.png

Here’s Therese’s card I CASEd, Isn’t it pretty!  the-flower-challenge at flowerchallengecaseourguestdesigner

and Uniko’s challenge: uniko

A Child is Born + Giveaway + Winner

I am really proud and happy to announce the birth of…a new shadow box card design! Those of you who know me must just have let out a breath of relief that I didn’t have another child! Don’t worry, I am happily in my “menopausing” stage and our kids are nowhere close to being parents! I am surrounded by younger friends though who, along with my kids, keep me young, so these cards were made for them.

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  I made this card for my daughters’s favourite teacher, who is expecting in March.As she doesn’t know the sex of the baby, I used orange and green to keep it neutral. The one below is going to my cousin Jessie who just gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl! Congratulations Jessie! I used the baby wrap in your baby photo as the inspiration for this card!

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The cards are a personal design done in Silhouette studio and cut with my Silhouette portrait plotter. I wanted a fresh nature theme to these cards and also bring out the handmade aspect with some water colouring.

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They are decorated using flowers from Winnie & Walter’s “The Write Stuff: Leave it to Mum” digital cut file and stamped with flowers from CASual Fridays “Bold wishes”, using Momento and Stampin Up inks. The stork was coloured using my Zig clear brushes and the typewriter sentiment comes from W&W’s new release “The Big, the Bold and Baby” stamp set. Justrite’s “Congratulations” was stamped and heat embossed with Wow embossing powder.

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The sides were also decorated with stamps from the same CASual Friday set. I made them in three colours and I’m in the process of making one for twins too!

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Heres how it looks illuminated with a led light that is put in a slot behind the card. It would make a great night light too I think.

So to celebrate this birth, I will be giving away one of these cards! Just leave a comment here by 28th February, telling me which one is your favourite card. You must be a follower of my blog to be eligible for the prize.

Speaking of prizes, in the Breast Cancer Awareness post here, I offered to send some love to a commenter, with the card I made and a Hope paper ribbon. I want to thank you all so much for your kind comments, it is really heartwarming to know you appreciated the card I made. So the winner is Mary Holshouser!

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Congratulations Mary! I like the idea that you will wear the ribbon to remind other ladies to get themselves checked too. Send me an email at desperatehousewifecraft@gmail.com with your postal address so I can send them to you.

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Oh I just have to add that I was interviewed for the first time as a crafter, in a Singaporean craft group called Crafty Singapore! I’m so excited and honoured to be part of their group and to be recognised as a crafter! You can read the interview here if you like.

Thanks for stopping by and helping me celebrate my new baby!

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I’m playing along at:

Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge – Use your favourite tool. Again my heat tool, but I have to say my Silhouette plotter comes a close second!

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge – Fantastic florals

Winnie & Walter’s Three challenge with Shay – There are 3 layers to my card!

Love to create – Anything Creative/Mixed media goes

Imagine that creative playground – Anything Goes

Crafting with Drangonflies -One for the girls

Through the craftroom door – Anything Goes

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Free tickets to Creativ Fair in Munich-Winner!

Just a short update to announce that the winner of these tickets is a new Instagram follower, but a great supporter in real life of all my PTA activities @scarletrocket! Congratulations again Darcy!

Hi everyone. The Creativ Fair in Munich is being held this year from the 24th to 26th February. It is Bavaria’s largest trade fair on the subject of DIY, where you can get all your craft supplies, attend fun workshops, I’ll be attending the art of Ebru Marbling on the 24th, for example, and meet other crafty bloggers at a networking event on the 25th. This year, the organisers gave me two tickets to offer to any of my blog followers! Each ticket will allow 1 person to attend any one day of the 3 day fair. Isn’t that great!

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So all you have to do is follow me, if you are not already a follower, and leave me a comment to let me know you’re interested in having the tickets. I will pick the lucky person on Sunday evening and send you the tickets on Monday!

Have a great weekend!

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Breast Cancer Awareness blog hop

Hi, its the 17th of the month again and time for the “Calling All Sistahs” Cancer Awareness Blog hop! Michele Gross, of CAS-ual Fridays Stamps started an amazing campaign called “Calling All Sistahs”, after her own discovery of breast cancer. Because of the early detection, she recovered and started this monthly awareness campaign to remind all women to do regular self exams and yearly mammograms.

This month, the theme is “With Love from your Sistah” and to show my love, I will send the card I made for this month’s blog hop & a magnetic Hope Ribbon card, to a person who comments either here or on my Instagram account!

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I wanted to make a card that was bright and cheerful but reminiscent of what I call “old Venice”. I loved all those old tiles I saw in the buildings when I was there a few years ago and tried to recreate it here.

To do so, I used the emboss resist method, you can see the method here. To get the “scratchy tile” look, I moved my Versamark inked up stencil, called “Foiled again” from Stamplorations, while it was on the paper, before running it through my Big Shot Plus.

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The small flowers from CASual Fridays “Bold Wishes” stamp set, was first stamped with Distress ink, before heat embossing it. The sentiment from CASual Friday’s “Lovely Greetings” set was also stamped with Distress Inks and heat embossed. In hind sight, I should have stamped it in a darker colour as the beautiful sentiment deserves to stand out more! I created an ombre blending by blending distress inks darker on the top then the bottom.

To finish off, I used my craft scissors to cut the panel and adhered it on an orange card stock.

Now the fun part! Michele will be giving away 2 random gift certificates pulled from people who comment on the hop by the 19th of February, and as I mentioned, I will send this card along with this magnetic paper Hope ribbon, to a commenter on my blog here or on my Instagram account.

Here is the full list of the Sistahs participating in this blog hop. Next on your hop is Lisa!

Thanks for stopping by, and remember, CHECK YOURSELF!
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I’m playing along at:
Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge – Use your favourite tool. That has to be my heat gun
as I heat emboss a lot!
Everybody Art Challenge – For a girl or Valentine’s. I went with For a girl.
Stamplorations – Theme and Sketch stamplorations-sketchn-theme

Geometric Marbling pattern

I love card challenges because they challenge me to try new techniques and keep my brain cells from dying too rapidly! This card layout took a while to come together in my mind, as I wanted to join in Winnie & Walter’s 3rd year Birthday Bash, Pattern-making challenge…without any Winnie & Walter products! (My recent orders are still in the mail…) Good thing they had digital downloads though, so I finally decided to print this pattern on my marbled card which I did with shaving foam & distress inks. The technique can be found here.

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After I printed the W&W geometric shape (Free design btw) on my marbled panel, I cut it down to 2 rectangular panels and adhered a My Favourite Thing rectangle scallop die cut to frame it and give it a softer look. The “hello” die cut is also from Winnie & Walter  downloadable cut files, which I purchased from their online shop. I stamped it with Versamark clear ink before heat embossing it with Wow embossing powder.

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I love how theres also a texture on my sentiment! Not sure how that happened but I like it!

This card was was also inspired by all the geometric designs during the last Creative World in Frankfurt.

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Aren’t they amazing? I always get so inspired when I attend this fair! Last year, it inspired me to start painting, card making and blogging!

Hope you enjoyed stopping by, but before I go, a little sneak peak of my next crafting experiment, also inspired by another Winnie & Walter challenge I would like to join. There are 10 challenges this month so which one do you think its for?

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Painting with distress inks and fingers

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I’m also playing along with:

Winnie & Walter’s Gossip column All about Marble challenge

Little Red wagon – Color challenge with pink/red & black

Hot Pink Marbling

Yes… another post on marbling, and its not going to be the last, so bear with me! What can I say, I LOVE the look of marbling. I love that you can use it as a background to create a beautiful scene like my previous post here, or as a flower pattern in a die cut here. Today’s card features a marbling effect created with nail polish and the method can be found here.

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I normally don’t put a lot of die cuts on my cards but this card is going to a friend who likes die cut flowers so I did my best. I admire people who manage to layer it on in a fresh, clean and simple way. Today’s card was trying to achieve that effect and personally I am very excited by the result. I know, “excited” seems to be a strange word to describe how I feel when looking at a card. And frankly I rarely get excited when I look at my cards, LOL, although I do get excited when I think about a new design or layout! (Wow thats a lot of use of the word “excited”…) But today, while editing my photos, my heart beat faster every time I looked at my card!

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Cause I just LOVE that vibrant marbling effect you can see in the Spellbinder’s die cut flowers and the softer marbling hues in the Stamplorations Cutplorations “Thanks” die cut. I painted the piece of white corrugated cardboard with Ranger’s Picked Raspberry Distress paint and added a few sequins from Pretty Pink Posh to finish. Oh and that artistic squiggle on the bottom left made with my Zig clean color real brush, was actually to hide a stain I made, but it looks good doesn’t it? 😉

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you got excited looking at it too!

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I was inspired to make this card by the following challenges:

Stamplorations CAS – Anything Goes with Hot Pink option stamplorations

CAS Mix Up Card challenge – Corrugated cardboard, stamping and one other. I was so fixated on the challenge of adding “corrugated cardboard” that I forgot about the stamping bit. LoL! I wanted to share it anyway, because the whole layout started from that piece of cardboard. CAS mix up.jpg

Musemuse.jpg  I had this image in my head when adding the marbled sentiment on the pink background to try and blend in the text, and the flowers around.

Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge – Young at heart, cause this card gets my heart pounding!

HLS Anything goes with Dies

Nail Polish Art

I love trying new techniques, which is one of the reason I enjoy making cards so much as there are so many techniques to put ink on paper, who knew! This card was made using nail polish of all things. I first saw it over at Winnie & Walter’s The Gossip Column with the amazing Taheerah Atchia, and I was intrigued. Then I saw it again at Rahmat’s blog and so I definitely had to try it… and I love the results! It gives a shinier effect then with shaving foam, but next time, I’ll do it outside, as the house smelt of nail polish for days!

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This is one of the 4 panels I made with the blue/green/turquoise nails polishes. Isn’t it gorgeous? I just love how it looks like some beautiful ocean from the sky.  And its really easy to do.

  • Just grab your cheap leftover nail polish you don’t want anymore
  • Fill a basin with a little water, but BE CARFUL, its very hard to remove the nail polish afterwards (I used a round cake baking tin I will keep just for this as I don’t bake anymore)
  • Remove all the caps from your nail polish
  • Start pouring them in the water
  • Use a stick to move the nail polish around in the water
  • Place your paper over it, I used photocopy 300g paper, and slide it off the water.
  • Place it on a piece of paper or cloth to dry

Easy peasy! Make sure you put lots of paper under your basin as the nail polish will stain your table… as I personally found out…

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Once the above panel was dry, I used Stamplorations Cutplorations crazy stitched rectangle die to cut a piece from it, I then cut out the inner panel using Sizzix rectangle die this time.  I  adhered it to the white card stock and stamped the sentiment from CASual Fridays in the middle with Versamark clear ink before heat embossing it using Wow embossing powder. I tried to create ink drops with grey Memory Box ink, but it just landed up looking like water splotches! If someone has a tip to do good paint drops, I will be eager to have it! A few enamel dots I found lying on my table finished the card.

Here I wanted to show you how it looks in natural light on the left, and on the right, how it glimmers under a lamp!

Now with the negative panel that was cut out to make this card, I simply added my new Jellyfish die cuts which comes from Altenew’s new collection. I loved it so much, I ordered it the very minute I saw it during the release blog hop and broke my “no paying shipping from US” rule for the first time! I have since broken it again with another company…thank goodness I have a friend going to the States soon as I have a long list from all the new releases going on ..! Lol!

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I made the jellyfish with orange, yellow and gold nail polish and just added it to the panel. I wanted to make it look like a painting or like we were watching them at an aquarium, so I put it into a frame I just happened to have lying around.

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I stamped the sentiment which also comes with the Jelly fish stamps, very carefully on the frame so it wouldn’t smudge, with Versafine black ink.

I just LOVE the result and I hope you did too and you’ll give it a try!

I’m playing along

The first card with:

My Favourite Things – Color challenge mft-color-challenge

Time out – Inspired by words challenge.‘Friends are connected heart to heart, distance and time can’t break them apart’.  The text I chose for my card echoes the words in the challenge I feel since I think often of my friends back in France and around the world.

HLS February CAS challenge – Blue hls-cas

613 Avenue Create Challenge – Blue, CAS and sentimental. I think my card follow all three!

CAS on Sunday – Color challenge cas-on-sunday

For the picture frame:

Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge – Young at heart, cause my son always tells me to just “go with it” mum and this “tableau” reminds me to do just that…

Thanks for stopping by.

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Sparkly ombre background

I was on a roll this week, with no kids and no outside commitments, all I did was make cards with my new stash received this week, learnt new techniques, and leave lots of love out in Blog land! I think I must have spent 10h a day just on card making activities…and I still can’t get enough of it! I am sooo lucky to have such a patient husband.

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I made this card using the Easy Ombre background shown on Jennifer McGuire’s blog and I chose to follow the sketch over at Stick It Down and the colours from Color Throwdown. I first stamped this beautiful Floral background stamp from Echo Park in Versamark ink and heat embossed it with Wow clear sparkle embossing glitter. It gives an amazing effect but the stamped background becomes a little “prickly” to the touch, although it doesn’t hinder the shading.

To do the ombre background, I started by shading in Momento’s Rose bud, followed by Rhubarb stalk using Ranger’s mini ink blending tool to blend in the inks. As I didn’t have any chocolate inks, I mixed Potter’s Clay with black and I got chocolate! I then die cut the Love you Xcut die and stuck my embossed resist panel on a card stock, which I had coloured using Rhubarb Stalk again.

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The light pink is not so light in real life but the light seems to just bounce off it and so it looks much lighter in the photo. I stamped the sentiment from The Ton on a label I cut using a die from the MFT Blueprint 20 set, using Versamark ink. Even though I used my Misti, it wasn’t easy to get the sentiment in the middle of my label, lol! While the ink was still wet, I brushed Bronze Perfect Pearls on it and the whole label to give it a light brown sheen.

This is going to a good friend of mine for St Valentine’s.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Heres the sketch from Stick It Down : stick-it-down

The colours from The Color Throwdown: color-throwdown

I’m also playing at:

The Paper Players – Will you be My Valentine paper players.jpg

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge – Color of Love ssswchallenge

Love stencil emboss

Its funny how inspiration can come from unexpected places. This card was inspired by Jennifer McGuire. OK, those of you who know this incredible card making guru will not be surprised that I was inspired by her tutorials and videos. The heat emboss ombre method came from this video she recently posted. The pattern on the other hand, came from an Instagram post of hers with her daughter caressing her dog. (Hmm I sound like a stalker now…) I can’t give you the link but I made a screenshot of it.

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Isn’t the pattern on the sleeve pretty? The minute I saw it, I wished I had a stamp that did that. Then I remembered I just received some happy mail with a stencil from Stamplorations and stamps from CASual Fridays that I got from Julia’s destash. So heres a little tutorial on how I made it.

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I started by inking up the Foiled again Artplorations stencil with Versamark clear ink and ran it through my Big Shot Plus. I created a sandwich by first placing

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The platform at the bottom

Green adaptor A on it

A thin cork mat I cut from an Ikea cork mat

My card stock

The inked up stencil carefully on the card stock

Another layer of cork mat on top

One cutting pad

 

This how it looks once its gone through the Big Shot.

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I added Hero Arts clear embossing powder on it and heat embossed it with a heat gun.

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I then used the Bold Wishes stamps from CASual Friday to stamp in the middle of each pattern, with my new Versamark frost stamp pad. Honestly it doesn’t make a difference to the regular Versamark and not worth the extra cost!

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To colour the background, I put the ink on a stamping block because I mainly have small inks pads, but I found that this made it much easier to blend in the colours as I didn’t get any marks at all! I will be using this method from now on.

I used MFT’s blueprint 20 scallop rectangle to cut my panel and then I just sat there and looked at my beautiful panel for a long time, wondering what to do with it! Luckily I saw My Favourite Thing’s sketch challenge and went with that, as it would show off nicely my “ombraging”!

The love die cut comes from Winnie & Walter’s “You’ve got mail” digital cut files. I love how they provide cut files you can download. They also give free downloads you can cut or print! I cut it with my Silhouette portrait, blended Stampin Up ink on it, used my Sakura gelly roll pen to add some glitter, cut a label from the same MFT die set, and stuck it on. To finish off, I threw in a few Pretty Pink Posh sequins and stuck the whole panel on a white cardstock.

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I love this pattern so much I think I’ll be making it in other colours! I hoped you liked it too and thanks for stopping by!

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P.S I decided to add links to the products I used, not because I am affiliated with any of them, but only because I was personally tired of retyping a product I liked when I saw it in someone else’s post, so I thought I’d make it easier for others!

I’m playing alone with:

My Favourite Things sketch challenge – mft

Paru’s cardmaking – Love Paru.png

Simon Says Stamp – The Color of Love

Work it Wednesday – Make something new- new method, new stencil, new stamps…

1st Year Anniversary GIVEAWAY!

One year ago today, I started seriously crafting and blogging about it! I can’t believe its only been a year as I have learnt soooo much and come so far. I went from not even knowing what stamping or die cutting meant, to creating my own shadow box designs for my Etsy shop and registering myself as a small business here in Germany. (Yes I never do things half measured!)

I am now a passionate, (even obsessed my hubby would say!) card maker and I owe all this to all you fellow crafters and bloggers out there. Without your tutorials, videos, tips and supportive comments, I would have given up a long time ago I think. In this digital world of ours, it is so nice to see so many people still taking the time and love to make hand crafted cards, tags and objects.

So I wanted to say thank you by hosting my first giveaway! I was very hesitant to do this as I’ve only been around blogger world for such a short time, but I think theres never a bad time to say thank you is there? And my daughter said it was a good idea too, so that was all the encouragement I needed!

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So all you have to do to win this personal giveaway, with free shipping included, of

  • Marta Stewart’s circle edge punch
  • 2 cartridges to use with it
  • 2 Memory Box love dies
  • 1 hearts and roses shadow box card designed and made by me

Is to:

  • Follow my blog

  • Follow me on Instagram & tag a friend

  • Follow me on Pinterest

by 28 FEBRUARY 2017 12h CET

I will announce the winner on the same day on Instagram and on my blog!

And if you’re already an avid follower of mine on all the above, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Just leave a comment here saying you are already following me and I will add you into the draw.

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I am also recycling my first die cutting machine and its dies, by giving it to the friend you tagged on my Instagram account. Maybe this will help a new crafter get started in the amazing world of scrapbooking and card making! The box looks shabby but I’ve only used it twice, as I had forgotten I had it when I bought my Big Shot Plus, so it still works perfectly!

Just to let you know how ignorant I was when I first started, when I bought this above machine,  I thought it was to make my own dies and I didn’t know how to use it for a very long time! I also remember I went to a scrapbooking class in France and while everyone had papers and ideas to start their project, I went wanting to learn what scrapbooking was! The poor teacher was really frustrated with me when she realised I didn’t even know what to do with the one photo I brought!!

All this to say that EVERYTHING can be learnt if you are passionate about it and have great teachers to learn from.

So once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you out there and

HAPPY CRAFTING!

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Disclaimer: This is a personal giveaway and I am not affiliated with any of the brands in the prize.