09 June 2016

Thank Your Mother for the Butterflies

Like handbags in the wardrobe, there is no such thing as too many butterflies in the craftroom.

Sally Cakes has tried, unsuccessfully, to stop the influx of butterfly-themed products (stamps, punches, dies, papiers, etcetera etcetera etcetera) from entering the craftroom.  She may as well try and stop the sun from rising in the east each day.

This card borrows a technique from our friends in the Mixed Media family.  Take some tissue papier then just scrunch that baby up into the tiniest ball you can; once done - unravel it.  Glue your finished product to your base tag using a glue stick and most of the magic has happened. Cheap and incredibly effective.

As you can see the card was made using plain, white tissue papier however, coloured and printed tissue papier is readily available.

Thank you mother (nature) for the butterflies.

25 May 2016

A Change for the Better

How is it that something can smell so good; where the anticipation of what you are about to devour has you salivating at the gills and yet what invariably follows is regret and disgust.

Case in point - hot dogs.  I work in a school.  Occasionally I pop out at lunchtime, passing the school canteen, my olfactory senses assaulted by baking pastry, hot sauce and hot dogs.  All good intentions of getting by on a salad for lunch, forgotten in that moment.  I'll have that treat - just this once. So I buy that mystery parcel with the misnomer of hot dog and what?  What was the attraction? What was I thinking?  Correct. It tastes no better than the last time this happened.

Next case in point - coffee. Recently, ahem with advancing age, my tastes have changed for the "different".  I still love the smell of coffee but drink it? Heck no!! I'd rather eat dirt - in fact - I am sure that is what is lying at the bottom of my mug; ground up soil.  However, sitting around the cafe table with girlfriends, caught up in the whirlwind of tuneful cries like "skinny latte", "flat white", "double shot moccachino", "twists of lemon", the list of varieties is seemingly endless - I order away.

Then it arrives. Mocking me. I lift the cup. I sip. I wince . . . . . and ask myself the same question, "What was I thinking?".

So for me, this card should read - a morning without coffee . . . .  is like a change for the better, because, let's face it - coffee is really not good for me.

17 April 2016

Thank You Bouquets

Papier and Cakes' author has been dragged, kicking and screaming, into an unthinkable decade. For so many years I have been fabricating my age - occasionally forgetting how old I actually was at a given time.  Last year I "celebrated" a zero birthday; and whilst I was willing to enter it incognito, my friends, anxious for a party and another reason for a holiday get together, thought it was worth a party or two!!

Thank you friends and colleagues

Personally, it was an extremely well-timed celebration and I was overwhelmed by their thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit.  Standing at a precipice, toes hanging over a crumbling edge and nubilous eyes looking out onto a stormy, limitless ocean, I was in danger of falling - the vicissitudes of my life threatened to swallow me, although I didn't realise it until later.  

My sense of gratefulness was considerable, so I repaid them with all I had to offer - "time".

These box cards took a few days to make - as there were so many to create - but it was a necessary and cathartic exercise. Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

07 April 2016

Here I Am - At Annie's Place

It's been a while, so here are a few quick photos of a card, just to help me with getting back my mojo.

Well that was fun.  All that was required to insert that photo was to click and drag . . .  obviously there has been the odd change in my absence.

I've had my internal workings updated too.  My truly old, faithful Dell was decrepit, unreliable and sluggish; despite all the defragging, overhauling and CPR performed on his hard drive he had to be retired. I miss him dearly. 

Papier and Cakes now runs on a fast-paced, modernised new computer complete with the latest software system.  Zip, zip, zip!!  Not all change is for the better.  This new, impertinent Asus with its firmly attached barnacle known as Windows 10 is taking some getting used to.  We are not friends, but have come to some sort of mutual understanding - we have to work together and so are putting up with each others' shortcomings.

In time I will forget. . .  I usually do!

28 September 2015

Chic Chevron Baby

So many babies this year and so many of them baby girls!  I wonder if it's something in the water? Or in the rain?

Most of the stamps used on this card came from Stampin' Up's Hello Henry set.  All except for the centrepiece - a golden elephant.  I shall rename her, Henrietta.

Faint droplets of rain are showering Henrietta and the bunting which she is vainly keeping at bay with her umbrella.

Henrietta herself was cut out separately using a Bosskut Gazelle cutting tool.  The benefit of this wonderful device is that any cut-file can be resized to accommodate your needs.

A chevron stencil was made using a punch.  The background card was then lightly sponged in grey and yellow to create the pattern you see - this chevron pattern was continued in the washi tape added to the right hand edge.

Tie a yellow ribbon around the roses and the card . . .

. . . then finally a matching envelope to finish to package.

15 February 2015

Caddying About

As promised way back in August of last year, here is a collection of photos taken at a winter retreat.

There were four pupils in the workshop altogether.

Some a bit more willing than others.

But as you can see, I sweetened them up with grape juice, a golden nectar.

They each made two Tea Caddies and a matching gift card, taught by Yours Truly . . . . 

. . . . . and all the while rain pattered on the deck outside.

07 February 2015


Without a doubt, the advent of beautiful papiers has made it easier to produce gorgeous gift cards quickly.  I am not singling it out as the most exceptional catalyst, but it would be in my Top 5.

As a card maker; stamper, embosser, puncher, from the early 1990's, I have seen the emergence of so many approaches to card making, all of which have their place on Card-making's growth timeline.  But I do remember in the early days scratching around for gorgeous papiers to complement the cards.  Resorting to making my own, either on the computer or by attaching fabric to papier (with spray adhesive), in desperate attempts to reproduce the images appearing in my mind.

Now we can buy exquisitely printed papiers, helpfully bundled into books and booklets (measuring 30x30cm, 20x20cm or 15x15cm), decorated with an array of prints and patterns that all match.  All the better to speed up the process my dear.

07 January 2015

Life in the Third Dimension

Length by width by height.  I have developed a fixation lately for creating usable, tangible objects from papier.  Mini books and boxes, definitely boxes.  That was absolutely trendy, trending, on trend for the past year in my craftroom - must keep up with the latest phrases (although goodness knows why).

Most of the time we are just re-stating the same phrase; but with an indication of seemingly apparent sophistication because we have correctly phrased the term.  Even language is not immune from "keeping up with the Joneses" as it were.  Hmmm, I wonder if the Joneses have been given the flick too?

Many of the boxes created during the year came from Pootles Dot Co Dot UK.  Thankyou Sam Donald, your instructional videos are just perfect.

PS Look up! Look up!  I managed to update the signature block.


Welcome to a new look for the blog.  This is for no particular reason except that I felt like a change and perhaps, to chaperon the New Year.

Leave a comment below, if you like, and let me know what you think.  You can do this anonymously without having a Google account.

It may take me a while to adjust the signature block below so that it blends in with the new look.  It's been a while since it was "manufactured" and I can't quite remember how I created it. . . just goes to show that some things will never change!

05 January 2015

Sixty Days of Sixty

A very special and dear friend celebrated a significant birthday recently (actually, quite some time ago now). She turned "something-zero", although the title of this blog is something of a give away, back in 2013.  It's just that it has taken me a while to post this entry, for no other reason than dilatoriness.

An initial gift of "many" treats was presented.
She had been away for the initial countdown.
Holidaying with family overseas.

The idea of continuous eventing came to fruition late one evening at a 50th birthday party where two of us got talking about celebrating our impending birthdays just like children seem to do these days - endlessly.  Enter the concept of having a coinciding number of events and birthday number.

A plan is slowly and simultaneously taking shape for moi, together with my customary stalling.

In the meantime, this idea was lent to a more pressing birthday and so I presented my friend with 60 orange gifts, orange being her much preferred colour.

A handmade papier flower - using sheet music.
She hails from a talented and musical family.

The notion of colour-coordinating gifts is not unfamiliar to this blog.  Remember the Box of Sunshine?

Bird of Paradise.
Cut fresh from my garden.

We both work with young children, so it was appropriate (and convenient) to be a little bit immature.

To help feed her coffee

Treats were left on her desk every day of the working week.  All leading up to the grand day.  Where there was an intervening weekend, three treats were left on a Monday morning.

Lots of yummy treats were also given.


Sixty orange gifts is quite a challenge.  Strange creatures began appearing.

Eeny meeny miny moe!
(Goodness how on earth is that spelt?)
Who who?

No idea what this is...
A one-eyed pumpkin.
Yes, and even a gold-fish!!

You may be pleased to hear that "Barbie" lived for a full twelve months.

This may have counted as more than
one gift. It was so long ago, I've
forgotten - fancy that.

A jar of papier treats - which I will dissect and feature in a later post.

A birthday card - Happy Birthday dear and lovely lady.