Hello and welcome to All things card and paper at Evelyn Mae. A place where I get to wax lyrical about all things to do with card making. From stitching to glitter, to history to whims of fashion ...

Thank you for visiting

Shelly X

Thursday, 28 July 2011


I am just checking in with you all to share a little good news that I got this week:

Over at the A passion for papertrey blog, they run frequent challenges, and I had entered for the Summertime challenge.  It was a really fun one, trying to put my nostalgia and fun of childhood summers into a card.  As usual, I made a set of cards on the theme, which I blogged about recently here.  I can't seem to just make one card, a little bit like pringles, once I start... I really just can't stop!

My set of summer infused card creations was picked by the team as one of their top three!  I was literally bouncing off the walls when I saw it, it really is a great feeling when you get recognised for something that you have created.  To see the other winners and the feedback on the cards you can pop on over here to check it all out.

Thank you wonderful people of A passion for papertrey!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

And so it begins ...

And so it begins .... Christmas has arrived in the workshop this week.  I have begun to start thinking of the festive season, and as the weather here in Margate has taken somewhat of a nosedive, it has not been too difficult to imagine!

So I thought for today I would show you my creativity from yesterday ....

The paper is Very Merry from October Afternoon and I just can't get enough!  I love that the quality of the paper is almost like a thin card, and the designs available are just so beautiful!  This whole pile of cards used just one 12x12 sheet; that's sixteen cards from one sheet.

For embellishments I used Very Merry stickers from the range, which I made into little tags and banners.  For the few that didn't have text on, I stamped Happy Christmas from a Dovecraft mini stamp set using bright red chalk ink.

All in all, a limited amount of materials has yielded a fair amount of cards, and cards that I am really happy with.  Reasonably priced for sale, yet with a really high quality finish.

All in a days work, as they say!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A passion for papertrey challenge

This week over at the Passion for papertrey blog they are thinking about summer.  Cards and projects that have a summer element in them.

For me, summer was all about camping trips with my family when I was growing up, visiting the seaside and beaches of Cornwall.  Now, it is still about the seaside, only on a different coast!

So, if summer were made of card of paper .....

I used some really bright papers, matted on green and navy blue card, and kept them simple with a little ribbon and a stamp from the Botanical Silhouettes from Papertrey.  What I like most about these cards, and that they are fairly unisex, so they have a lot more usage options than gender specific cards.

I also won a new Papertrey stamp set, so sometime soon I will be sharing the set and some new creations, that will most likely be for the younger boys.  

Watch this space!

Bye for now X

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Are we alone?

I am sat in Starbuck’s in Canterbury, tea and cake in hand, with a whole host of tourists and busy locals outside.  A slab of peace and quiet would be brilliant right about now!  Alas, the 21st century coffee shop has become the Macdonald’s of the late 1990s and so, I sit, in the darkest corner of the shop, desperate for some space.  Which is totally bizarre; I work from home in my workshop six days a week and I don’t see people every day- so why, oh why, did I require peace and quiet to write my blog about crafting!

Crafting has always been, and remains to be, a social activity.  Growing from Mother’s teaching their corseted daughters, to the home economic courses of the late 1960s, to the stitch ‘n’ bitches we se today.  Yet, for me, crafting is not social time, its head space time.  Sometimes I will listen to podcasts or the news channel, sometimes a movie (most likely one of the Harry Potters!) and sometimes, sometimes, hours of silence.

In my case, craft lets me tap into something other, something intangible, but very centring and peaceful.  Listening to some of the back episodes of Sister Diane’s podcast, The Craftypod, her Mum, being interviewed, tells us how she and Diane craft in silence and how not many people understand!

It would seem that there are two fairly distinct crafters then.  The sociable stitch ‘n’ bitchers, the ones who primarily feed off the hubbub of crafting with others.  The others, tend to thrive on the silence and the peace that comes from crafting alone.  As with everything, there are shades of gray, and I am sure we all fit into both of these camps at different times, but I think, it is important, to find which encourages our creativity, which, for want of a better phrase, feeds our soul.  Once you find this, you can build your crafting into something helpful and supportive in your life, something that, in the end, you won’t be able to do without.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Recycling in my spare time ...

Because card making is my full time job, quite often, on days off, I make sure that I take time out from crafting too.  My husband certainly doesn't want to be dragged round the craft shop on our day off!!

But this week, I decided to do a crafty project in my spare time that wasn't card making .....

I made a door stop out of lots of recycled materials I found around the house!

I used:

* A4 paper.  I made the fabric template out of half a sheet of A4 paper for the large panels, and quarter size of A4 for the smaller panels.

* a table cloth from our wedding; Its a lovely cream/toffee colour, and I had a lot of it so if I made mistakes I could easily use more!

* The gingham are some left over off cuts from a job I did recently when I made jam lids .... There was not a lot left over, so I had to make the hearts different sizes.  As it happens, I really like that!

* The buttons are from my Nan's stash- who let me raid it last time I went to visit.

* I used cotton left over from the adjustments made to my wedding dress last year.

* The inside was stuffing from an old pillow my Auntie gave me, and some old chipping stones from the garden that were left over from the previous tenant!!

And best of all, it works. I can now be cooking in the kitchen and have the door propped open!! Hurray!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

challenge or exchange??

I have a very dear and wonderful friend called Sally.  We have pots of tea and slabs of cake as often as we possibly can; she cooks me crumpets when I get peckish, and is an ear to bend when I wax lyrical and try to put the world to rights.   She took up knitting a few years ago, and seems to be doing a good job with it.  She is incredibly creative as she is a choreographer, dancer and performer.  She is one of Evelyn Mae’s biggest supporters, and her face lights up like a Christmas tree when we peruse Covent Garden market for crafty goods.  However, she is a self confessed un-domestic goddess.

Not so long ago she asked me to set her monthly challenges to help turn her into a domestic queen; incidentally, I have only managed two challenges thus far, and have totally let the side down!

But how can this be, this fabulously creative lady claiming to not be domestic?  Challenge #1 of making rocky road went down so well that she will be making it again for her boyfriend’s birthday at his request!  She is totally able of being domestic and creative, so why does she feel lacking?

What interests me about it, is our perception of being domestically capable.  Nigella Lawson published her How to be a domestic goddess book and a resurgence in home baking occurred since its arrival in 2000.  But what happened if our baked goodies didn’t match up to the perfect pictures? Nigella says that essentially, that doesn’t matter- what does matter is the act home cooking itself, but still, with our lives being fully media integrated, I am sure some of us feel inadequate with our  flat souffl├ęs and ever so slightly overcooked fairy cakes.   The same can be seen in card making – It is a craft for everyone. You only need a few materials to get started, and it really is the effort that you put in for your recipient that is important.  With such a variety of high quality blogs and websites around, it is all too easy to listen to the media aware part of our modern psyche, and claim that we are not good enough, or can’t do it.

Whilst still living in Bristol, I had a friend, Jenny, who bought Christmas cards from me for a number of years. I could make them very dimensional, which Jenny loved because she is visually impaired.  One year, she asked if instead of buying them from me, I could help her make them.  So for a few years, every Christmas, we would sit together, craft and drink hot chocolate.   I’d describe the embellishments and she would choose from my descriptions.  But it was Jenny that would make them.  This Christmas just gone, she told me that she was making her own cards, and getting a sighted friend to help her with a few things.  And now she will be helping at an event run by the RNIB helping others with visual impairments to make cards.  

This is what being a domestic goddess is about; it is about using what skills you have to create, learning new skills from friends, books and blogs, and embracing the inner domestic, creative king or queen that resides within. A creativity that sometimes might be temporarily dormant, or just below the surface, but that is there, should we just choose to engage with it.

Perhaps instead of setting Sally challenges, I should have told her all the wonderfully creative and domestic things she has accomplished so far, and traded some skills instead?  Maybe I should have told her that by serving me some crumpets covered in lashings of butter and letting me wear my pyjamas in her house during the day, was her being an exemplary host? Maybe then, this month, I won’t challenge her, but I will challenge her to an exchange.

I will keep you posted on how that exchange goes!

Monday, 4 July 2011

imake giveaway ....

The imake give away is now up and running ... So to be in with a chance to win a selection of Evelyn Mae cards, check out the blog and leave your comment....


Good luck everyone!

A passion for papertrey challenge ....

I was very excited today, as my parcel that I had been waiting for from the States arrived!  It contained a very special delivery of the Botanical Silhouettes special edition stamp set.  Its a stamp set only available to those who purchase certain amounts from Papertrey ink and it happens to be one of my favourite releases of theirs.  So I was so happy when I won a set on ebay ....

Once it arrived I got straight to making a little thank you notelet to send to a lady called Mary who was kind enough to send it to me, and who also die cut me some shapes to stamp on.   I decided to tie it into a blog challenge that I came across recently, after another friendly American pointed me in the right blog direction!

Over at the A passion for papertrey blog, they have set the challenge of using borders, and this is my take....

I used some recycled navy blue card from a promotional booklet - the card is great quality and has a linen effect, and so is brilliant for matting and layering.  I then used one of the gifted die cuts from mary in cream cardstock, with the 'Thank You' sentiment from the Papertrey Botanical Silhouettes stamp set, which I stamped in midnight blue versamagic chalk ink.  I then embossed it with clear embossing powder, and set the border off with cream satin ribbon, and two copper eyelets.

I love the simplicity of the card, and I like that it could be easy to make as a gents card by just removing the ribbon.

A simple card, for a simple message of thanks!

Creating for gents ...

Good morning everyone!  This is just a short post to share with you my creative exploits from the past few days.  I have been working on some gents cards- one for a 12th birthday, and for a 70th!

The 70th card was so much fun, and really rewarding in the I managed to be really creative for a customer, and that it was viable from a business perspective.  All too often the business requirements don't allow for intricate work when you are doing crafting professionally.  However, this did work, and I was so pleased.

I printed a '70' in a large front from the PC, and traced the shape onto the card, so that I could use my scalpel  to cut out the shape.  The larger the wording, the better as you have easier lines to cut, but this seemed to work well.  It was on a beautiful pearlescent clue card, so after affixing the 7 diamante gems, I didn't think it needed any more.

Inside was a small pocket ready for the personal message of the customer, and another silver '70'.  I love the colours in the card, and I love how the simple design really worked.

Also this week, was a 12th birthday card ....

Our nephew was 12 this week, and I was hoping to make a card that just unleashed my creativity, and didn't think at all about budget!  I saw this card over at the a passion for papertrey blog and I loved the design - so i based my nephews card on it.  It uses recycled navy card stock, hessian, recycled plastic backing from an old booklet, and an old pair of jeans.  I liked that I used so many reused items on the card, and that it worked well for a young gentleman- enough rustic materials, and not a ribbon in sight!!

It took some time to do, as I stitched the number 12 by hand, using the worn bit of jeans, and hessian is so fibrous that it took some time making this tidy.  But I think that the card came together, and in the end looked very different than the card I used for inspiration!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

imake blog giveaway ....

As I mentioned earlier in the week, the blog over at imake would be running a giveaway with some Evelyn Mae goodies. So, I thought I would share with you the prize itself before the giveaway goes live this week ....

It is a set of four masculine birthday cards, measuring 5x5 inches, made on white card stock.

I'll let you know when the competition begins....