This whole arm problem is really starting to get to me now. The constant pain is just exhausting. Whilst the physiotherapy and acupuncture have improved the tennis elbow symptoms, it seems those symptoms were disguising other elbow pain. It feels like I’m taking one step forward and two steps back. On the plus side, I am getting to be a dab hand at ‘mousing’ with my left hand. To avoid having a similar problem with my left arm, I’ve purchased an ergonomic left-handed mouse. Aside from having to switch around the left and right buttons to be the same as a right-handed mouse, it’s been really easy and comfortable to use.
Anyway, I’ve really been missing crafting and crafting is one of the things I would do to de-stress. I figured that not crafting hasn’t improved my arm situation so I may as well do a bit and de-stress myself. A large box of Stampin’ Up! goodies was delivered this week and I was keen to get playing with some new stuff. I was conscious that I didn’t want to be doing too much and making my arm lots worse so I went for a simple, quick festive project – a Christmas tree garland.
I used a new set from the Autumn/Winter catalogue, Perfectly Plaid with the matching tree punch.
I cut a 2½” strip each of real red, old olive and thick whisper white card. This was enough for 6 trees of each colour. After using my Embossing Buddy, I stamped one of the trees with Versamark, applied gold embossing powder and heat set it. I then punched the trees out.
Using glue dots, I attached each tree to a length of ribbon, spacing the trees about 2½” apart.
The finished garland is about 1.1m long but could easily be extended either by increasing the spacing or making more trees. I’ve attached this one to our mantlepiece but it’d also look great in place of ribbon on a gift. This was a quick little project which took me about 20 minutes and it satisfied my crafting mojo.
This week’s post has been inspired by the beautiful sights of swathes of wisteria, tulips and daffodils that seem to be everywhere. I love flowers, in particular scented flowers, and I like to cut some from the garden to put in vases in the house. Just a few scented flowers in an arrangement can fragrance the whole downstairs of the house.
For this project, I used the Varied Vases stamps and the matching punch.
The vase options are an outline to colour in yourself, solid or a patterned style. I opted for the patterned style and stamped them in Bermuda Bay ink and then punched them out.
After stamping the scalloped edging, I roughly positioned the vases so I knew where to stamp the flowers that would be in the vases. The flowers have an outline stamp that you can colour in or there is a matching solid stamp to fill them in, which is what I used with Cherry Cobbler ink.
The card was finished by stamping the sentiments and mounting onto a Bermuda Bay card base.
This is a similar design but in landscape format with Mint Macaron and Lovely Lipstick.
My third card was made by stamping the vase outline onto some Gingham Gala DSP and punching it out. To give the vase a different look, I overlaid a layer of velum on top. The punch cuts out the tulip flower and leaf so I stamped and punched those using Tuxedo Black, Lemon Lime Twist and Lovely Lipstick inks and attached the leaves to the back of the vase. I then drew round the vase arrangement lightly with pencil onto a piece of Whisper White so that I could stamp the other tulip leaves, flowers and stems.
I then stamped the scalloped edging at the bottom of the vase and the sentiment to the right. Once the ink was dry, the pencil line was erased and the piece was cut out using a scalloped oval die. The vase was mounted using dimensionals and a mini dimensional was used under the single tulip head to give a 3D element to the arrangement. The piece was mounted onto a layer of Lemon Lime Twist card that had been textured using the Layered Leaves embossing folder and a piece of the polka dot tulle ribbon.
As the weather has been superb this week, Mr L and I have been spending quite a lot of time out in the garden and in greenhouse, sowing vegetable and flower seeds. I love the potential of this time of year; the bright green buds of new leaf growth, tiny new shoots emerging through the soil together with the amazing colour variety of spring flowers. The insects are also emerging. It’s lovely to see lots of bees and butterflies flying around, although our pussy cats’ favourite game at the moment is catching (and eating – gross!) butterflies, much to my chargrin. To compensate for our cats’ antisocial behaviour, I have sown a multitude of flowers that are attractive to butterflies and bees, providing lots nectar and pollen for them. It’s the least I can do!
Butterflies are the subject of my cards this week, using the Stampin’ Up! Butterfly Gala stamp and accompanying punch and the Crackle Paint background stamp.
I began by stamping and punching out the butterflies. I like to add odd numbered accents to my card so I used 2 large and 1 small butterfly for each card. My colour themes were to be monochrome and pink/white/black so I used Lovely Lipstick ink and a Wink of Stella brush to colour one set of butterflies and the Wink of Stella by itself for the other set.
Once coloured in, I mounted each butterfly onto a Basic Black or Lovely Lipstick foil background, adhering only the body section so that the wings could be gently folded up to provide some 3D interest.
The background pieces were stamped using the Crackle Paint stamp using black ink. The sentiments are from Butterfly Gala and Forever Lovely and cut out using the stitched rectangle framelits and the Pretty Label punch. To complete the butterflies, I added some gemstones for the heads.