Saturday, July 31, 2010

Christmas card challenge - poinsettia

Poinsettia Christmas cards to fulfill the June challenge on Sylvia's blog.
I started with the background paper, choosing cardstock which coordinated to create the poinsettia with my Spellbinders Nestibilities. I am happy with this more subtle version of this icon of the holiday season. The lace adds some texture and the sequin nicely highlights the center. Added a stamped greeting and I was done!! I added some stippling to tips of the petals to add a bit of definition to the flower.
Very happy with these. That brings my Christmas card total to 59!!


Bamboo tile pendant

Another project from my play date with Linda - a bamboo tile pendant. Our visit to the new dollar store yielded a black bamboo tile placemat which we disassembled and shared between us. Would have preferred a lighter colour so we could stamp on them but all they had was black, dark brown and medium brown.
We covered our bamboo tiles with colour printed images using Modge Podge and dug through all the beads on hand to find some that worked with our newly decorated tile. Attached our embroidery thread to the jump ring with a half hitch, threaded on our beads with the help of a dental floss threader and tied knots on the bottom to secure everything in place. We added a length of hemp long enough to go over our heads and we were done!!

Voila!! Handmade art to wear!! These could easily be created to coordinate with any outfit and make a great little gift you could customize for all of your friends for the holiday season!!


Friday, July 30, 2010

Heart Wings cards

Another bonus of a playdate - you can share tools!! I used Linda's Heart Wings (Tim Holtz) die in my Big Kick to cut several sheets of red, black and metallics cardstock and several music sheets of into die cuts!! This die cuts 5 separate elements -a solid heart, a scrolled heart (has a scroll element that drops out), a crown and two wings which gave me a nice collection of elements to combine. I layered them over double embossed backgrounds I created with the technique I described here. I added a gold embossed "Friends" element to both of them and ripped the background of one to reveal an embossed "Thanks". All the elements were embossed with a variety of embossing folders and highlighted with ink if they needed "just a bit of something " more. I cut up one of the scrolls that falls out of the scrolled heart to create ends for my "Friends" elements.

They are my first attempt at "grunge" cards though I am not even sure if that is the right word for this look. Love the way they turned out and I am looking forward to challenging myself to use different colour combinations next time.


Double embossed backgrounds!

Here's what Linda and I came up with after trying out the double embossed technique with Marg. We did not have white core cardstock so we made some - we cut quarter sheets of white cardstock and painted them with acrylic paint!! Once dry, we embossed it, sanded it, unembossed it and embossed it with a different design. Previously, we had sanded again but instead we decided to apply ink to the embossed design. Worked great!! Then we decided to use a piece of lime green cardstock - not her favorite colour and did the same to it. Again worked great!! So these are ones I created once I got home using yellow cardstock which had been colour printed with a blue texture which I did not have cardstock to match. Again worked very well.

These red ones I created as backgrounds for the cards I want to create using the Heart Wings die cuts I cut on my play date at Linda's. Check the next post for those!!

Needless to say, my head is whirling with all the possibilities of this technique!! I will be exploring "junk mail" and dark cardstock as well.


Double embossed cards!!

Play dates are such fun!! Marg joined us for lunch and an afternoon in Linda's craft room. We worked on several projects which you can check out once I have them uploaded. Marg brought along supplies for this card project which she saw demoed at a convention last week.
The technique involves double embossing a piece of cardstock which has a core in a different colour than the surface. The demo was done with Core'dinations cardstock. Not sure where this paper can be purchase in our area but Marg was able to find a pad of white core Christmas cardstock at Michaels which worked perfectly!! Great for making quick and easy Christmas cards like the top one in green.
We took a quarter sheet of green white core cardstock and embossed it with the Swiss Dots embossing folder. Sanded the embossed surface until the dots showed the white core of the paper. Put this piece back through our machine with the closed embossing folder on top of it so it would deboss the paper. Next, we embossed the quarter sheet with the holly embossing folder and again sanded the embossed surface until the white showed through. Sanding a little in some areas and more in others gives you a very nice look. The paper feels flocked because of how much it has been sanded. Very luxurious!!
To finish off my card I added some red glitter glue to the holly berries and a triple layered greeting - the card is done!! Another to add to my Christmas card stash!!
For the other two I added a ribbon and a layered greeting. Thanks, Marg for showing us a new to us technique.
Linda and I played with the technique a little more the next morning! More to come on that!!

So be sure to have some friends over and play!! It is such a good thing!!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Altered page layout!

I am visiting at Linda's and we decided to do an internet challenge and chose GPP's Crusade #42!!

I ripped my strips from a variety of white and blue papers and glued them onto a page in my altered book placing those with colour on the edges of each page. Dug through Linda's stash of collage images and choose what I needed to create my first collage angel. FUN!! The large U is actually a photo of a train upside down onto which I collaged an "I" and some hearts!!

Happy with my layout! Having a great time!!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More paper!!

Paper sheets from yesterday afternoon and evening!! A total of 35 - 8.5"x 11" sheets!!
Using my large mould and deckle to make larger sheets is most efficient. The sheets can be easily trimmed into smaller pieces depending on the project I am working on.

I was using up some leftovers from previous batches to make these papers except for the second from the left. It is the oatmeal confetti paper to which I added some tea, grass and dark red rose petals. Paper on the left has a creamy white base pulp with flower petals (red and cream), leaves, tea and some peach confetti in it. Third from the left - a somewhat light gray pulp with tiny pink flowers in it - I think from my coral bells last year. On the right, I started with an off white pulp and added pink tissue paper until it coordinated with the carnation petals I had added earlier.
A good day's work - if you can call it work!! Watch for these to show up in my cards later in the year.


A day of papermaking!!

Handmade paper!! I like to make paper in the summer time because it dries so quickly outside!! I soaked four different batches of shredded papers and their additions on Monday and had the pulps ready to go at 9:30am when my friend Linda arrived!! We had a wonderful morning chatting and creating almost 100 sheets of 8.5" x 5.5" paper in a variety of different colours.
The base of the blue was a variety of SU cardstock scraps, white - SU whisper white scraps, green - variety of SU cardstock scraps, beige - oatmeal envelopes from bills, brown - brown paper bags. SU cardstock makes VERY nice handmade paper. I am fortunate to have two great SU demos - Dorothy and Catherine who donate their scraps to me!!
Top left - combination of the white with threads and the blue confetti.
Top two over - SU white with threads. The threads were green, turquoise and pink - a donation from a sewing friend.
Top three over - SU blue with SU confetti in turquoise, pink and green.
Top four over - SU white with red threads donated by my sewing friend.
Top right - combination of green and white/red.
Bottom left - SU green with red threads, gold lame and yellow threads salvaged from an old Christmas ornament.
Bottom one over - oatmeal envelopes and SU confetti - teal, burgundy and brown. Bottom two over - Brown paper bag with tea and dark red rose petals. Bottom four over - combination of both brown papers. Bottom right - brown paper bags with marigold, grass and tea.
I highly recommend making your own paper if you are a paper crafter of any kind. All you need is scraps of paper/cardstock!! You don't need to add anything to it but I love paper with texture and interest so I always add something - confetti bits, naturals of some kind or anything else I think would be interesting.
I will be posting the shots of the paper I made in the afternoon and evening later!! It is still drying because the sun and heat of the day was over!!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cards for gifts

Made these cards for a gift!! I wanted something masculine and found this stamped scrapbook paper in my stash. When I was there I found a 12x12 sheet of collage images that a friend of mine gave me a while back that would coordinate perfectly. Once I cut the images from the sheet I used my postage stamp decorative scissors to trim the images and layered them onto dark brown card stock.
This sketch at CPS worked with what I had already chosen so I added the beige and brown ribbon to finish them off!! I packaged them in brown paper and added a beautiful ribbon!!

Thrifty tip: What a quick and easy way to package cards!! All you need is a square of fabric or paper and something to tie it closed. Cut a square of fabric or paper - 8.5" to 10" works best for four A2 sized cards. If you are using scrapbook paper I find it works best if you scrunch it several times and flattened it out again before using it to wrap your cards. Consider using handmade/mulberry paper or any other very flexible paper. Place your stack of cards nicely in the center of the square with a point on each side. Fold both side points in to the center, then the bottom point up and the top point down. Tie it closed using ribbon, fiber, lace, cording, rick rack or anything else that would suit your paper and the occasion.

This works perfectly if the recipient is creative!! The wrappings can be easily be reused in their creations and makes it easy to customize the look of your package by choosing their favorite colour or subject matter. Of course, the wrapping can also be reused to package any small gift as well.
This is a win - win in so many ways!!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Birthday card

One of the guys from our guild is turning 70!! His wife organized a surprise (until Friday) party for him tomorrow!! He is a great guy who can make anything out of wood.
I do not have many masculine stamps and wanted a larger card for this occasion so went searching through old cards I have ready to be refurbished to see if I had anything suitable. I really like the simplicity of this image so I trimmed it down, added a black border and found an envelope the right size in my stash. Added a black ribbon tied with a double knot and a greeting printed on acetate - ensured it would be in the right place and not be smeared!! Have added Happy Birthday inside in black!! A very nice card that did not take too long to make and suited the recipient.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Christmas card challenges - Nativity

More Christmas cards!! I am catching up on previous challenges - these are for Sylvia's April Nativity challenge and will also satisfy Sparkle's challenge to use stitching and the Anything Goes challenge at Year Round Christmas Cards.
I started by silver embossing the O Holy Night stamp on black and adding a cute little gray snowflake (MS) with a black brad. Layered it onto gray using 3D foam tape. Thrifty tip: I punched the snowflake from the center of the gray layer. It will not show and it is always the right colour.
The card front is layered with a piece of flourished red scrapbook paper which I bought last week at S&S for 40% off!! The flourishes are very sparkly!!
Added a thin black gros grain ribbon, glued the stamped element over it and added faux stitching around the image which I "stitched" with my Stardust marker. It just adds sparkle!! More sparkle on the star and the round petals of the snowflake!!
Not traditional colours but I am very happy with these cards!! Brings my Christmas card total up to 54!!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Christmas card challenges

Christmas card challenges for July!! I combined Sylvia's angel challenge with Karen's purple challenge to create these Christmas cards. They also qualify for the "Anything goes" theme over at Year round Christmas cards. I stamped and embossed the angel on glossy cardstock then applied alcohol inks starting with yellows in the halo and wing areas followed by three different purples over the rest of the surface trying to concentrate the eggplant in the dress part. I love the way they turned out. I layered the angel onto white cardstock with a scalloped edge. I had difficulty getting my MS doily border punch to punch my six layers so I substituted my SU eyelet border punch for the last two. I expect it may have been the high humidity that caused problems with the very intricate design of the MS punch. I layered a white cardstock strip accented with purple fiber below the image and added a silver confetti star with 3D foam tape. A simple greeting of "Rejoice" is silver embossed at the bottom of the card.

I am really enjoying these challenges!! I have a few to catch up on which I should be able to do this month. So I add these six to my stash. I have counted my Christmas cards and I have 48!!! It is great that I have this many made already and we are only in July!! Join us!!

I used envelopes from my stash which dictated the different format for these cards.


Spirelli cards

Spirelli has shown up for me in lot of places this week - magazine, blogs and galleries, so I decided to give it a try.
You can check out a tutorial here for instructions on doing spirelli. I have placed this link under Tutorials on the right hand side of my blog.
I used the SU scallop punch to create my shape and some very thin embroidery/serger thread for winding around the shape. The pattern you get depends on how many bumps you skip when you are winding. You can go to your right or left - you will get a different pattern on the back of your shape depending on which way you go. I started by taping the end of my yellow thread on the back of my blue shape, came to the front in a valley between bumps and skipped two bumps as I moved to the left. I went around twice because it helped to emphasize the pattern with more thread on it. Took about two feet of thread but I did not cut it until I was finished and had taped it to the back of my shape.
To create my embellishments I layered a punchie shape* created with my SU five petal punch, a little flower punchie and a large yellow brad. I layered these over some contrasting yellow and blue decorative paper accented with a white scalloped strip (SU scallop border punch) leaving enough space at the bottom to reveal my colour printed greetings. I added some dots with a gel pen or piercing to the scallops on the strip and the embellishment to help give them some texture.
Really happy with my cards though it did take me a while to figure out what supplies to use for my spirelli and to come up with a sketch that best featured my cute little embellishments.
*Want to know how I made this little punchie shape?? You punch one shape with the five petal punch, temporarily stick it to a piece of scrap paper and reinsert it into your punch and punch it again with the valleys exactly in the middle of the petals and you get this sort of starburst shape!! You can check out the tutorial here or follow the link under Tutorials called Punch Embellishments video on the right hand side of my blog.
Two of these cards are off for my card exchange this month and another to my sister for her birthday.

I discovered a video tutorial while I was searching for spirelli instructions that shows you how to make several different flowers with the scallop punch!! Check it out here. You can also follow the link under Tutorials called Scallop punch flower video.


Friday, July 02, 2010

Altered page with Nature ATC

Catching up on some projects that were put on the back burner last month!! Created this page around the Nature ATC I received from Linda last month. I love the look of those landscapes put together with Stampscapes stamps. Linda has only recently started with this stamping style but is already very good at it!! I loved this style of drawing when I was in college and thought I would give it a go for this altered page. Though a bit time consuming I love what you can achieve with a couple black markers!!
I created the background by painting white gesso on to the book page and adding some blue acrylic transparent paint I create a while back for this project. Just painted it on and moved it around a bit with fingers and paper towel. Once dry, I drew onto this surface with a black fine point Sharpie creating rocks, trees and water. The dimension in the elements is created by adding dots with a black ultra fine point Sharpie. I used the ATC image as a guide. Added colour with Sharpies as well - gray for the rocks, moss green for the trees and several colours of blue in the water. This quote by Bliss Carman suited the layout perfectly so I wrote it in by hand. The holes you can see in the layout accommodate the shell I glued to my previous altered page in by altered book.

Try a new technique today!!


Baby Neomie!!

Oh my goodness!! Our new granddaughter!! We spent last week out west with my daughter and son in law and their little family!! She is an awesome little human being - eating, sleeping and hanging out with her big brother and anyone else who is willing to spend some time chillin'. It was so great to see them all and a blessing to reconnect and just spend time with them.
I made 60 of these baby announcements in one day!! (Correction: I tied the fiber on them once I was there). I had a very tight self imposed deadline -had a plane to catch!! Designed the whole thing in a layout program (Corel Draw) and double side colour laser printed it on cardstock with my new printer!! Got to love new tools!! I know exactly how DH feels when he has the right tool for the job and all goes smoothly. Once printed, I punched the hole so her cute little face would peek through the front. Tied some baby pink fiber to the left hand side which added just that little bit of 3D texture to the design. All the details were printed inside leaving some room for a message.

If you can hug your kids, your Mom, your sister, everyone - do it today!!!