Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Sunday - 24th April 2011

Last week there were so many Birthdays and leaving do's, I must have made about 10 cards. When they got to work, everyone got writers cramp from signing them all. My colleagues are so keen to get a card, people keep reminding me their Birthday's are coming up!

The two cards I'm showing, both have a Wedding theme. The first (8x8) is for a couple who have chosen a teal and ivory theme for their wedding, so I thought I would go with that. How difficult it is to find the matching colours, I found I was drifting back into turquoise a bit.

All of the images were found on the web from various sites on Google. I've matted and layered them to give a bit of dimension to the card. The card insert above, I put it through the Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 software to make the image transparent. I added the text and printed the page, easy.

The next card (A5) is for one of my colleagues from Bangladesh. It's his wedding anniversary next week and I wanted to try something a bit colourful. Not as easy as I thought, but here it is.

The photo doesn't really show the colours, there's gold backing paper and orange on the paisley paper. I printed and cut out the various topper bits, layered them, using Papermania hand-made paper with gold patterned dots. I inked a butterfly and coloured it by pressing it into the various colours of a Big and Juicy hydrangea ink pad, bent the wings a bit and let it dry. Then I covered the surface with Anita's 3-D clear Gloss finish embossing liquid, as it was drying I added the small glass jewels to the body of the butterfly and the blue flower and let them dry thoroughly. I replaced the antennae with fine purple wire and curled the ends to make them safe. All the paper edges were inked with either Tim Holtz rusty hinge or faded denim. I finally put the card together and added pretty coloured threads to the bottom section.

For the insert this time, I had the white paisley paper open on Microsoft Word 2007. I left it in its original colour for the front, but I faded the insert. here's how: Select the image, select format, recolour and then pick the colour you want to fade it to. I chose a pale turquoise to match the front darker colour. To add the text over the images: Select the image, format, arrange, text wrapping and put the image behind the text. Then you can add what you want and get it in the right place before printing.

I'm off the Austria in two weeks for a month, so I've done all the cards I need to for the duration. I won't be taking any card crafting bits, I shall have to find other interesting things to do. I'll take my laptop, so I can add bits to the blog while I'm away. I'll go and hunt out the craft shops, if there are any!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Sunday 27th March 2011

Thought I'd caught up with everything, then someone said 'have you got any Mother's Day Cards?' So I got to work.

What I usually do is take a few relevant magazines and a couple of resource book and let the customer choose. We talk about colour, special features and anything else they want included. Then it's up to me to interpret their ideas. Up until now I've never seen disappointment on their faces, surprise, maybe, but no negative comments. I make the front of the card and then ask them what they want inside for words, etc.

You'll find very similar cards in Simply Cards and Papercraft - issue 68. I'm a great fan of the designer Judith Hannington. Each month she has the most wonderful ideas, I wish I had some of her talent. The papers are My Mind's Eye, bloom & grow. The card template is in the magazine. The cutting out of the separate panels is a bit fiddly, but well worth it. I think I shall use this again. I think I need to add more little daisies to the inside panels.

I used the Serif Digital Scrapbook Artist 2 software to make the turquoise background and the text. All the edges are inked with Tim Holtz rusty hinge. The flowers and leaves are torn, crumpled and inked, with a bit of free-hand line drawing.

The second card is for the chaps wife. The camera has not captured the colours, making it look a bit drab, as the flowers a bright yellow. The butterflies and tags with text are from the Serif software. It's expensive to start but well worth it in the long run. I stitched around the edge of the copper paper and added beads to the trailing thread ends. Scrunched the paper and sanded the surface with a sanding block to make it more weathered. Can't tell you where the text paper came from, sorry.

Next time - Easter Cards!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Sunday 13th March 2011

Busy time of the year for lots of things. The garden, the bees and now the sun has come out, all the dusting and cleaning!

Well, I can always find an excuse to do it later. Thought I would add a quick card that I've just finished for a dear friend.

It's a DL card. The Nitwit papers were a freebie from a 2010 Creative Cardmaking magazine, special edition, Birthday cards. The Happy Birthday stamp is from . They have loads of lovely sentiment stamps, worth a look and not bad price. The little girl stamp is Tilda from Magnolia stamps. I've coloured her with Promarker pens. As I added the layers I've inked them with Tim Holtz brushed corduroy. The button brads were white and I coloured them in red Prokarker to match the clogs. I pushed them through the backing paper, then stuck the paper on the card. doing it this way you get a neater finish at the back, without the sharp ends sticking out. The lacy punch, is of course, Martha Stewart.

I was taught to make the inside of the card as good as the outside. It's an opportunity to make the card very personal, if the person you are making it for has a special name or 'nickname'. Or the sender want's to say something special. I also add a little sticker to the back with my name on. Why not be proud of what you've done!

I've saved a set of various inserts on my computer for each card size and orientation. Then, I've only have to change the words or font and print, it's that easy. If anyone wants to know how, let me know and I can try to do a demo on the blog.

That's about it for today, better get back to the chores!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Saturday 12th March 2011

Been busy this week doing wedding invitations. So today, I thought I would show you how to make these wonderful paper flowers that are very popular at the moment. they're very easy to batch make, so you can make a few in advance, keep them in single layers and finish them off when you need them.

I've used PaperArtsy Hot Picks stamps and Anita's 3-D clear gloss glaze finish.

Stamp the large flower onto thick paper, not card for this project

Cut out

Mark the centre back and cut a straight line, between the petals to this mark

Fold one of the petals over the next and glue
Leave to dry and you get a cone like this
Turn the flower over and push down the centre, so that it's flatter at the back with a raised point in the front middle. It is then easier to silicone glue this to your project. I cover the middle with a faux brad.

Glue the layers together with a blob of silicone glue. Paint the layers with 3-D clear glaze and leave to dry.

I've made a few green leaves, using the same PaperArtsy stamps. I embossed them with clear embossing ink and then used Papermania black embossing powder and a heat gun. Once they're cooled, cut them out, fold and curl them. I've just put the elements on the card to show you hope I might eventually place on the card.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Sunday 6th March 2011

I'm asked to make cards for friends and colleagues nearly every week. I get them done, but I still need to get into the habit of taking photos to share them with you. I did three last week - and no pictures, oops!

So today, I've just finished a card for a lady who's got a birthday coming up. So here are the pics:

This is a 24 x 34 thick cream card, scored and folded into 3. Then I cut the top edge to an angle, from the top left corner to about 5 cms down to right side. I've inked the edges with Tim Holtz Brushed Corduroy. I've only decorated the 3 front panels, leaving the others for the folks at work to write on. The papers I've used is Dovecraft 'glamour'. I then cut out elements from the same papers and decoupaged them, using foam pads. This give the card a bit of dimension, not really seen in the photos. On the back panel, I've cut an angled piece of card  (in turquoise),  to make a pocket. I'm going to buy a couple of Lottery scratch cards and put those in.

I'm now going to emboss her name on the front of the card. Get everything ready before you start.
Card, antistatic pad, clear embossing ink (Versamark), embossing powder (Papermania, black glitter), perspex block with stamp on, a heating gun and finally a sheet of paper with a fold down the centre.

Dust the card with antistatic powder and tap off any excess. Usually I stamp onto a test piece or make a label, to attach to the card later. So, if you did make a mistake you haven't ruined your work. This time I'm putting it straight onto the card. Keep your fingers crossed.

Stamp the image onto the card, using the clear embossing ink, press evenly and firmly over the image. Sprinkle the embossing powder generously over the stamped image, covering it well. Do this over a scrap piece of A4 paper, then you can pour the remaining powder back into the pot. Give the card a good tap, to remove the excess powder.

Heat the image with the heat gun. Keep it moving, because you can burn the powder and it will go dull or burn the paper/card. Remember to wash the stamp with soap and water and leave to dry.

And here is the finished article. As you can see, the name is there. I also made a couple of holes with a small punch and threaded 3 lenghts of fibre through and tied with a star button. I think it looks OK. Let's hope the scratch cards are lucky ones.

More soon.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Sunday 20th Feb 2011

Thought you may like to see some of the cards I've made in the recent past. These are the ones that I've kept as 'quick' cards. The others I gave away or sold, I didn't take photos of, but in future i will, to remind me of what they looked like. If you want to know what inks, colours, stamps punches, tools etc I've used, just ask. I've no problems sharing anything.

This card was inspired by the marvellous work of Jo Capper-Sandon. She's a designer and talented artist. Just go and have a look at her work. As a beekeeper, I just had to have the bee stamps. They'll probably feature on lots of my cards through the spring and summer months. You'll find a link to her work at The Stamp Attic website, on the right.        


This card was modified from a design by Kim Dellow for Papercraft Essentials Issue 64. I was just about to throw away an old A -Z road map, when I saw this design, so I've now got the atlas in my craft room stash. The moral is, never throw anything away!

About 6 months ago I decided to go mechanical and buy a die cutting machine. You can spend a fortune on these. So after a long time of looking at all the options, I chose a Cuttlebug. The reason, it was cheaper than most and all the cutting dies go through this machine. Then, of course you spend a fortune of all the embossing folders and dies. The card on the right has the Cuttlebug devine swirls and Tim Holtz inks.

These last two were left over from Christmas. I used the free papers from one of the many magazines around December 2010.

That's all for the time being. I've got a box full, but I thought I'd show you just a few. When I look back over my work, it's 'developed' so much. Who knows what it may look like in the next 6 months!


Friday, 18 February 2011

Friday 18th Feb 2011

Not sure why I'm doing this. Probably because one of the girls at work got her dad to design a website for her Yoga classes. It looks brilliant and that probably got me thinking... My life changes all the time, one thing leads to another, then you wonder how you got there.

Same with my Crafting. I've always been a bit crafty, even as a child. The usual knitting, sewing, painting, drawing, cooking, and the years go by.

A dear friend decided she needed to 'do something'. The next thing I know is that I'm standing in a craft shop buying lots of goodies to make cards. How did that happen! That was two years ago and we're still the best of friends.

Now I run a little Satuday morning session with friends. We make cards and have a laugh. My creative path has taken me into the altered art stuff, Tim Holtz et al. I'm slowly moving away from basic cards towards collage pictures, altered books and containers.

Hopefully, over the following weeks and months, I will share some of my efforts and you can share your comments and projects with me.

This is not the only thing I do with my 'spare' time. I have four cats and keep bees. So I won't be talking about cards etc, all the time. So please visit when you can.