Hi, Thanks for dropping by.

My name is Eileen but to friends in the card making world I'm known as 'ikki'. (which is pronounced I-KEY) From where or how this came about I'm not sure - it just got shorten from my original craft name of Ikemo by various friends along my crafting way! I started crafting whilst recouperating from an accident, and from my first attempts with peeloffs and paint - I was hooked! Now my passion is my BUG! and now BEADING!

In the Cupboard you will find ideas, news, tips and techniques to help you get more from this fab little machine. So come in - join the fun and Cuttle with me!

Monday, 28 February 2011

Less is more challenge - Week 4 - Squares

I have just had a lovely, but very busy three days with my daughter and two granddaughters.  Caitlin and Megan just love getting their hands on my crafting stamps and inks, so no crafting for me!  Hence, a little later than usual for the LIM challenge which this week asks for 3 squares.    Now squares are a fav of mine, but just what to do with them????  Looking for something a bit different I decided to do this.....

I've used a technique called masking to create an illusion of depth and inked straight onto my card. 
First fold a sheet of A4 copypaper into 4, then cut with a Nestie Square size 3 (l being the smallest) to make a template.
You can play with the cutout shapes to decide on the best pattern

Leave the first cutout in place

Cover with the template and slide the sticky edge of a post-it under each side lining up to the square

When you remove the template you have your square ready to colour.  I used distress inks starting with dark at the bottom and working lighter.

When the first square is completed, cover with one of the square cutouts and repeat the process to complete squares 2 and 3.

 I used one of the stamps from the Elusive Image theme plate called Essennce of Nature (UA4SP0339.
By varing the shades of ink you can see all three squares -
masking the ikki way - easy, effective, and perhaps worth a try?
Later today I will show you some other examples of this technique.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

200 Chocolate Baroque Followers and Free download

Over on the Chocolate Baroque DT Blog we now have now over 201 followers! The DT are really chuffed that you like the new company and our artwork and as promised Glenda is offering a new download - it's just lovely,  so a big thank you to all for joining us.  Don't forget to pop over and pick it up.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Tippy Thursday

Hi, late today making a post because Dave had to go to hospital for a checkup and we decided to make the most of the day and have lunch out.  Problem is I eat too much, not good for my so called diet!  Although I love crafting, sitting in my corner is not an inducement to losing weight, so lunches out will have to stop and I will have to get off my butt a bit more.  Many years ago I was a Weight Watcher leader and I also wrote my own weight programme called Why Weight based on the psychology of losing weight.  Being overweight is fine if you are happy, but I'm not so it's time to do something - so I'm going to look it out my programme and make a firm commitment to myself to do something before I burst!  You could join me if you are interested in my Why Weight Wednesday!?!?!!? I'm going to start next Wednesday to give myself time to get organize, I will share with you my weight week (not weight),  my knowledge of the weight loss industry and diets and share some recipes with you. 

Thanks for all your comments on my second attempt at LisM.  Embosserissima asked what type of card I had used - it was a lightweight textured linen which I feel still gives that white space, but with a little more interest until I get used to all that "white space".  I had not realised how difficult it was to leave off rather than put on!   I have also printed out the giveaway paper from the Chocolate  Baroque DT blog on this type of card and it looks super, but as yet I haven't had time to do anything with it.  Perhaps later!  I have just popped over to the blog and the  number of followers is fast approaching 200 and that means Glenda will be giving us another download, so I'll keep you inform of when it happens. 

Thanks for dropping by,

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

2nd attempt at Less is more challenge

I think I must be mad!  Or, going mad!!  I'm busy. and yet I have messed about with my 2nd Less is More card for hours trying this and that, and after all the time I don't know which I like best or which looks best!!!  AND, does it matter?  Not really I like them both.....but someone asked to see what I came up with if I did it again.....so here are the two together.....

I changed and enlarged the font, and the placing.  It is much easier to get the spacing right with changing the fonts in the second card.  So I learnt something, but in all my messing about, I managed to lose the first placing of words to somewhere PC bound???? and as yet have not found them!  I think it's a mistake to sometimes to try to do something again, even the inked square managed to not colour as well as the first.   I have decided that I'm one picky, but persistent crafter!  I just hope my PC experience will prove useful for further challenges - so bring  on Saturday!

Hope you are all well and that your weather is much better than we are getting in North Staffs. 

Monday, 21 February 2011

Teeny Weeny Meadow Stamps from Chocolate Baroque

Hi, Monday morning and time to make my post on the Chocolate Baroque DT blog. This is a sneak peek at what I've been up to.....

I've used the new miniature stamps called Teeny Weeny Meadow - teeny they may be, but they are super to work with and certainly get the old grey matter going! Hope you'll have time to pop over to the DT blog - where you will find my tutorial - just click on the logo on my sidebar and please let me know what you think.  If you have any queries about the techniques I used - you know the rules - just shout!

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Thanks and news of a freebie from Chocolate Baroque

Hi, first of all a big thank you for all your comments regarding my spring card for the "Less is more" challenge.  I will study and try again, but is it yellow square up, flower down, words up, shorten flower stem or words down - as I say I will study and have another play.

Now some interesting news for you from the Chocolate Baroque DT blog.  When Glenda launched the site on Friday, she promised that once 100 followers registered with the blog, a download was on offer.  Yesterday the total was 115, so click on the CBDT button on my sidebar and you can pick it up.  It's a beaut!  AND, if you haven't registered yet, please do because when we reach 200 - there will be another one for you.   AND, DON'T FORGET TO SCROLL DOWN TO GLENDA'S POST AND LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE IN THE DRAW FOR THE MINIATURE STAMP SETS - THEY ARE A DELIGHT TO WORK WITH AND I WILL BE SHOWING YOU ONE OF MY CARDS TOMORROW.  Thanks Glenda - I love the new paper design.

Thanks again to all for your support, have a great Sunday.  Now back to that square or was it the flower?!!??!?

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Less is more Challenge Week 3

Well no one say it would be easy.....and I agree.....can't say is was quick either.....but I've enjoyed making my card for the Less is more challenge which theme this week is Spring.

I used a flower from Darkroom door Viva La Flora collection and the sentiment is PC generated - I have to say with much trial and error and still not sure if I have it right!  The cardstock is a textured linen which gave a nice finish to the inked square - this was done with just a pressing of my Mustard Seed distress inkpad straight onto the card, which I then lightly heat embossed and adding three small gems, but I think the square is too high or the words to low (?) and the proportions slight out!  If I have time I might try again!!

Thanks for your comments last week, I'm afraid I did not manage to get round to all, but will try to this week.  Look forward to see your "Sping" interpretations.

Friday, 18 February 2011

The news you have been waiting for!

The wait is over and I can tell you that the new name for Glenda's Company is Chocolate Baroque and the new Design Team Blog is now on line for you to see what we have been up to!!!

The DT and I have have been busy using  4 sets of new stamps and we are pleased to be able to show you our artwork over the next few days.  My contribution will not be until Monday, but there's plenty over there to inspire you.   Also, Glenda is giving away some of these stamps so why not pop over and say hello - you have to be there to win! 

Congratulations Glenda on your achievement and success over adversity, and also best wishes to you and Adrian on your l5th Wedding Anniversary.  What a day you have had!

Sorry for the wait

Hi, if you've dropped by for news of the new company and the design team blog, all I can  say is  "I'm waiting too"!  There would appear to be a problem for Glenda, presumably with internet connections, which is such a shame because she has had one thing after another go wrong over the last two months, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her troubles to go away.  I know she will be so disappointed that the day is not going to plan!  Back as soon as poss.  

Thursday, 17 February 2011

News of a New Company and the opening of a new Design Team Blog

Hi folks, you may have wondered where I've been this week - I have been so very quiet!  However, I've not been slacking, in fact I've been very busy!

Many of you will know that I had the pleasure and honour to be on the design team of Elusive Images, but sadly Glenda was forced to close down her company in December last.  Happily, a new company is on it's way to us and over the last month the DT have been working with new stamps that will be.....wait for it.....appearing tomorrow!  To all EI fans I know you will be delighted to hear this news, and even better is the fact that on the launch tomorrow of the new DT blog, there will be the opportunity to win some of the new stamps.  Also, over the next few days the DT will be showing you their artwork that these delightful stamps have inspired us to create. 

Until tomorrow my lips are sealed about the name of the new company, but I will say this "When you know it, you will remember it - it's different and it's definitely a Glenda special".

So I hope you'll be able to drop by tomorrow and I'll share my secret......all  the DT are excited and thrilled to be able to continue designing for.....??????

Monday, 14 February 2011

Nestabilities Classic Hearts - to show you care

Hearts to the rescue for a quick valentine card.....just in case you forgot!!
Classic Heart smallest die cut several times from glossy red card, and embossed with the heart and dot folder from C2U   
PC generated sentiment and lines.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Elusive Images - Belle of the Ball

Today I would like to show you one of my last year EI DesignTeam cards that because we are approaching Valentine's Day ( nudge, nudge, Dave) seemed very appropriate.....
I really loved this card, it was so enjoyable to design and make.

Materials used: Black linen card, red card, red decorative paper
Elusive Images - Bell of the Ball (UA5SP0340)
C2U embossing folder - hearts
Nestabilities - Dahlia
Black Archival Inkpad
Black and Clear Embossing Powder
 Punch leaves, wire, ribbon

Now to finish my VC for tomorrow, see you then.  Thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

"Less is more" Weekly Challenge Blog

It's the 2nd week of "Less is more" Weekly Challenge Blog and the theme is a challenging one layer card featuring a tree or flower!

Since stamping straight onto card is not something that I do very often, it's a nerve thing! I first stamped out the image and place a nestie circle where I wanted the background circle to be.....and cut......

and to make a mask.  This made positioning much, much easier, but still a nerve racking moment when the stamp was hoovering over the card.  But.....

got it right!  Thank goodness!!

The stamp is from Elusive Images called Tall Trees (UA5SP0252) and the sentiment is PC generated.
The background is sponged with DI's Scattered Straw, Mustard Seed and Rusty Hinge. 

Chrissie and Mandi would love to have you visit, and be even more delighted if you join their challenge!

Enjoy your day,

Friday, 11 February 2011

Friday's Followers' Gallery

Friday again and today I've something very clever to show you made by Jeannie


Jeannie has used grundepaper and embossed some of the squares of her tote bag to give it texture and interest.  Pop over and view more pics of this great idea - it's well worthy of going into the FFG.  Thanks Jeannie for sharing your idea with us.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Joy A4 Trouvaille - Embossing Stencils and Masks

Hi friends, thanks to all who responded to my appeal for info on the JT machine.  I will be in touch with you, and if anyone else would like to add their comments negative or POSITIVE, I would be pleased to hear from you.

The machine is still working okay, no squeaks, the vicious backspin of the handle seems to have stopped and it turns smoothly!   So far so good, but I'm being very cautious! 

One of the things I've tried is using brass stencils and masks....

This mica mask is from Creative Expressions and called That Special Touch - Ivy background.  I  was very surprised to get such a good embossing/debossing effect on the JT, because I've never been completely happy with embossing this type of stencil in the Bug using the Spellbinders Impressionabilities, which I now find also embosses well in the JT.  Great, this opens up more pattern options!  Both sides of the pattern have been coloured with chalk, which is a medium I used a lot before I discovered DI's and happily will now be using them again.

From the JT leaflet   (they describe it for embossing templates)
 the sandwich recipe :  A plate / Black Mat / Paper / Embossing template / B plate

Now for a bit of News, and puzzling at that!!!

The other day I received a message from PeeJay telling me of another A4 die cutting machine on the market called "Happycut" from Artemio (a French Company).  And, she thought I might be interested in seeing it - to right PeeJay.  AND, this is the surprising bit - it's WHITE and LOOKS exactly like the JOY TROUVAILLE (a Dutch Company)  !??!?!?  What is going on? 

Now for some help please, I have received this message from Karuna, but I have no experiences of this problem - so can anyone add anything to help?

From Karuna an reader living in India

"Hey ikki, I see your expertise on the bug and i need some help please. Just today i tried to use the nesties in my buy and it went so lose. Yes i triple checked on the sandwich too! :( i have used it only 3 days ago and it was cutting well. I almost used 8 cardstocks to make it cut the nestie! What happened to the machine. even the bug dies go quite easily but still cut. Any help? "

If you have any comments to make please feel free to add them by using the comments button below.

Thanks for dropping by an I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Joy Trouvaille A4 Die Cutting Machine

Well it's working again, thanks to Dave and his engineering knowledge and toolkit.  On Saturday morning I received a parcel from the distributor Crafts 2 U with  just a compliment slip with the words "as arranged" and two black gears.  Oh, I see - they must have known about DAVE!! because otherwise they would have sent instructions on how the mend the....thing!  You will by now have realised that I'm not impressed!  Nor, have I received a reply to my two emails from the "caring" (their words) company who make the machine.  Poor customer service is all I can say!

I'm thinking of doing a survey  on this machine, and wondered if anyone would like to help me?
Please email me on ikki2010.hotmail.co.uk with your email details if you are interested in filling out a questionnaire and I will contact you.

I've tried the machine again, but as yet I'm still waiting some info on the sandwich recipes for certain types of embossing and does it need a silicone mat, and which one?  The instruction leaflet supplied with the machine is written in a number of languages, and need studying.  For example the leaflet states the machine will cut all dies, but then talks of thin dies, then thick dies - thin dies are are presumably Nesties, Marianne, Joy etc., but what are thicker dies - it doesn't say????  Obviously this is important info to safeguard your investment.

Hopefully soon I will be able to give you my experiences on all cutting and embossing operations, and YOURS if you are willing to help! 

Have a good day,

PS Thanks PeeJay - looks exactly the same with the same instructions - it's just the colour that's changed????!????  Wonder whats going on?

Thanks Crafty Jo, but OUAS have stopped selling this machine because of problems they have had with it breaking!  I think you can class the GC as an A4 machine - afterall you cannot put the plates of theJT through landscape. 

Monday, 7 February 2011

"Less is more" Challenge.

Today I've made this card for the lst challenge of "Less is More"

The challenge is to make a card using Black, White and Pink  - simple and clean in design, and  an opportunity to use one of my new Elusive Image stamps from Essence of Nature (UA4SP0339). I also used my new Grand Nestie Squares.  I think these will prove useful to me as I find cutting squares accurately a pain (don't kown why - it should be easy!), and the first three sizes will go through the Bug.

To get the stamping in the right place, I pencilled round the square, then stamped.  I find it easier this way!The sentiment is computer generated .

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Tag Award

This week has been full of surprises because I have received not one, not two but THREE of the above awards  from three lovely crafters who all decided in the same week it was time to tag me!  



To you all my thanks for thinking that I deserved this award - it's always nice to receive recognition from follow crafters so you have all made my week making the Cupboard one of your faviourite blogs!

In accepting this award, I must agree to the following:

1) Decide if you will accept the award, and if you do, create a post on your blog and show the 'Favourite Blog' badge with pride.
2) Link back to the person who gave you the award and let them know if you accept the award or not.
3) Choose 3-5 of your favourite blogs to tag. Add a link to these blogs in your post and give them the good news.

Now I can pass it on....?????.....so many blogging friends!!!!!.....but I have to choose 3/5 blogs to tag and since the object of this award  is to promote little-known blogs to a wider audience so you will also be able to see their talented work, I have chosen:
Miranda is a member of the design team  for Elusive Images - she live in Holland and loves her Bug!  Her blog will not be familiar to many, but her artwork is outstanding: her colouring is brill - drop by see for yourself!
Paula. Paula is an a fab blogging friend and is so supportive of others dispite her own health problems that if you don't know her - you should! Mind you, be warned when you visit - take a cuppa with you whilst you read of her exploits!
Sharon I love the way Sharon can uses buttons for embellishments and I know what a generous and kind crafter she is in her work for various charities.

Thanks again ladies for honouring me with this award, I really do appreciate your support - as I've said before - the Cupboard would be a lonely place without you all! 

Saturday, 5 February 2011

A surprise gift!

Hi, today is a great day for crafting it's grey, wet and cold, with a strong wind thrown in for good measure!  I wonder what you'll be making - perhaps something to put in my FFG?

I have just made some embossed cards for Jo (Twiglet) and to my surprise I received this by return of post.....
Jo and her sister (Wipso), who are both very talented crafters, will be known to many from WOYWW and they now have a blog shop selling their crafting artwork called Sisters Crafty Creations.  Jo uses a card to display her brooches, and very pretty they are!    If you would like to see more of their craftwork, you'll find them here, and I know they would be really pleased to have you visit.

Many thanks for the gift Jo, much appreciated.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Friday's Followers' Gallery

The card today has been made by Val known to many as Aquarius.

The way Val has used two dies to make the frame and emboss both at the same time is a new idea to me.  She has managed to emboss both edges of the frame which I think looks great.    I couldn't work this out, so as I encourage you to do, I asked and this is how it is achieved:

It's actually very like my tutorial yesterday on making photo corners, but instead of  embossing freehand, Val embossed both pieces in the Bug. 

I also love the way the ribbon wraps round the frame giving  another different take.  Great card, Val!  Thanks  for sharing your idea with us, and I pleased  to put your card in the Follwers Gallery.

Why not pop over and say hello to Val, she is a very talented crafter with a very interesting blog, and if you are a lover of Elusive Images - you will also find that Val is too!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Tippy Thursday - Make more use of your Nestie Squares

Today I thought I'd show you this little trick of making photo corners from your Nestabilitie Squares.
I first demonstrated this technique way back in August 2009 (gosh where's the time gone!), but many of my new readers may have missed this post.

It's called my "Wibby Wobby Card" and you will find the instructions on this link if you are interested in seeing more!

When I first used this method of making corners I used a magnetic mat - today I did it a different way......

First  tape two squares together
run through the Bug, but leave the cuts inside the dies
  then using a stylus round the inside edges of both squares

 You have a frame and a square both with an embossed edge. 
 This method is useful if you do not have the tan mat.

Cut across the corner.
 I sometimes cut the length of one side longer than the other, but here the cut is equal -  to do this I line the square up to the lines of my old cutting mat that sits under my glass cutting mat.
when finished -  an embossed square and four photo corners

I know that you can buy this shape of corner punch, but I have never been able to find one, so I use this neat little trick instead.

Back tomorrow with this week's card for my Friday Followers Gallery. 
Thanks for dropping by, hope you find this idea useful.