Elena’s Banner

Happy New Year to everyone.
I’m back after a wonderful Christmas and New Year, that had been a long time in the planning. Unbeknown to Mum & Dad, who spent 3 weeks with us from just after the New Year, I had planned a surprise visit by my sister and her family. There were times over the secret months that Helen and I nearly buckled and exposed the whole story, so many times we had to confer to make sure we had covered our tracks and not let slip.
The logistics of our family means that a get together is not easy. The venue was with us in Rep. Ireland, Mum & Dad were visiting from Spain, and Helen had to travel with her husband and daughter (Jamie & Elena) from Cornwall, England. We even had to concoct a cover story, skillfully done by my husband Anthony, allowing him to go out alone early evening to a ‘karate session’ (without drawing suspicion) to meet Helen’s flight at the airport.
By Dads own admission after the event, he was drawn in hook line and sinker, perhaps helped with the promise of a chinese takeaway being brought back home.
So Anthony headed out (karate bag in hand, secretly placed in the car he wasn’t driving) to the airport and also the Chinese (the only detail that wasn’t a lie). The nerves of the day had got to me at the stage and I could do nothing except sit incredibly nervously hoping no-one would talk to me while I waited for progress texts.
The moment arrived and on cue my niece acted as delivery person and boldly strolled in (to a house she had never visited before I might add) announcing ‘anyone for takeaway’. I have never seen anyone so stunned let alone my own parents stuck for words.  Well done Elena!

***JOB DONE*** what commenced was a weekend full of fun.


As an extra to this story, about 6 weeks ago Mum had the idea, that during our Monday night craft videos we take on the project to make a pretty banner for Elena, with the aim to send it to her for her birthday. At least stage I knew of the visit, so i had my own agenda to really try and finish it for then so Elena could take it back with her.
What added to my nerves on the day Helen, Jamie and Elena were due to arrive, was the fact that we hadn’t quite finished the banner. Fair play to both Mum & Dad who went along with my erratic behaviour on the day, insisting that the house be hoovered and tidied (just as Dad had sat down to talk computers with Anthony) and insisting also that the banner must be finished and therefore almost banishing mum to my craft room. Actually it’s making me giggle now how it must have looked.

To cut a long story short now, both Mum & I were quite chuffed with ourselves at how the project actually turned out. We didn’t work to any plan or pattern, and made it all up as we went along. All we knew we wanted was for it to be pretty, and read ‘Sweet Dreams’.
I thank Dad for taking the photos of the completed banner because they really show the detail that we added to each component.
Using a range of  embossing powder (kaleidoscope/clear ), and inking techniques along with sparkly stickles (and Mum very generous stickling application hehe) we embellished the Cricut die cut images from the Cindy Loo, and Lori’s Garden cartridges.

Now without further ado, here is a chance to have a closer look at each of the letters we created. Hope you enjoy looking at it as much as we enjoyed creating and giving it as a gift.

 Back panel embossed with kaleidoscope powder. The butterfly and leaves are printed and cut from Loris Garden, and embellished with stickles, buttons and ribbon.

 Kept simple, but the buttons and ribbons are very effective.

Who could not love this little squirrel from Cindy Loo, printed again with Lori’s Garden paper.

 Mum to took complete charge of this one and again she couldn’t resist using her favourite Cricut Imagine cartridge.

Mum had made the flower at home and it travelled with her from Spain, and looks lovely teamed with complimentary ribbon.

By this stage the theme for the banner had developed into a fantasy woodland feel. Mum really wanted bambi from Cindy Loo, and we couldn’t resist the toadstools from Lori’s Garden.

Simple but very effective and great work from the Imagine and Mum cutting and assembling the intricate bow. However there were giggles as a number of little pink gems for the bow ‘pinged’ around the craft room.

The bird cut from Lori’s Garden is made up with about 6 layers, all printed on photographic paper, therefore giving it an attractive sheen. The glossiness of the paper mans the print quality is exceptional and crisp.

The cheeky frog will hold memories for Elena hopefully, as her Mum & Dad take her out for a milkshake and bacon sandwich at their favourite cafe called ‘The Fat Frog’.

Here we sneaked in a little mouse from the Cricut Imagine cartridge, Nursery Tails.
I had had little copper charms for years in my stash and this was the ideal project to use it on.It reads cherish, dangling from the bow.

The butterflies are a single element from the Lori’s Garden cartridge. Although not designed to be layered, by cutting more than one, they can be moulded and stacked using silicone glue to add much needed dimension.

Thank you very much for making it this far with me. This is a marathon entry for me – phew.

I will post some more detailed photos of each of the letters, and also a photo of the banner in situ in Elena’s bedroom.

Thanks for looking x


One Comment

  • Joan

    Well what can i say Claire,you have described the 3 week visit to your house perfectly and yes both dad and I were totally stunned when little Elena walked in delivering a very lovely Chinese. The memories of that fun packed weekend and 3 week visit with you will be with us forever (helped by lots of lovely photo's taken by us all). As for the banner well all I can say that it was a lot of fun making it and it turned out even better than I imagined.
    Mum xxxx

    p.s I think I may owe you a bottle of icicle stickles 🙂

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