Friday, August 26, 2011

More handmade paper!!

Had a couple of papermaking classes this week!! It is always fun to create with like minded people!
I made up several different batches of paper so there would some variety in the sheets the girls brought home.
You can see the small sheet - 3.25" x 4.5" - perfect for the front of a card but also perfect for tags, book pages or covers, etc.
We made 8.5" x 5.5" in class which is just the size you need to make an A2 sized card - fold and embellish!! Can also be trimmed to create layers on cards, die cut or embossed, etc. I used this size of paper for the covers of my handouts. Check them out here!
To finish up the batches I took out my other vat and large mould and deckle and made large sheets from the leftovers!!

Had a wonderful time and I have a few more sheets to add to my stash of handmade paper!!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Leaf shrink plastic charms!

Don't you just love Shrink plastic?? It is such a versatile product!! I am involved in a Charm swap on AFTCM and this month we have been challenged to use shrink plastic to create our charms.
I started with black shrink plastic because when it shrinks it just creates a bit of a shadow on your project instead of clear dimension which is hard to disguise when you use the clear shrink plastic.
I used my Big Shot and TH leaf die (SX) to cut my shrink plastic and then I sanded each leaf on both sides.
Usually, I sand before I cut but today I simply forgot but I am glad I did because you can see here that I created a great background image by photographing the "dust" after sanding!! You simply never know where you will find creative fodder, so stay vigilant as you craft for serendipitous art that will just present itself when you least expect it!!
Back to the charms! I trimmed the stems off because they are likely to break off once they shrink to half their size. I also punched a hole (1/8") at the top for the jump ring. I painted them with acrylic paints including some shimmery stuff to help them glitter and be beautiful. I painted one side of each of them, set them aside until dry and then painted the other side to create double sided charms. Once they were all dry I laid them on my heat proof surface (foil over corrugated cardboard), placed the sharp end of a skewer in the hole and heated them with my heat gun - voila!! Little leaf charms!! I did add some Pearl Ex and spray matt finish just to finish them off!!

I have a wonderful little collection of charms which will make a wonderful bracelet!!

These will be on there way to my partner later today!!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gate fold - raven

I was on a roll!!
I created another gate fold card for a card swap on AFTCM! I folded the edges to the middle and decided to make this one landscape. Added hand decorated paper to the top flap and another piece to the bottom flap layering in a piece of black ribbon. I tied a short piece of ribbon to the long one to simulate a bow. I embossed a yellow label die cut (SX) on which I layered the raven image which had previously been mounted on black.
Love the colours of this card!!


Gate fold - Thank you

Two more gate fold cards!! A couple Thank you cards this time. Used colour printed collage images on both, layering them a bit differently.
On the left, I simply layered the collage image on black, added a greeting and layered it again on green. I added the ribbon later by sliding it between the black and green layers, then behind the yellow I layered onto the card front.
On the right, I layered my image onto an embossed blue rectangle and added a colour printed greeting. This element was layered onto an embossed label die cut (SX) which I attached to my layered card front with a couple yellow brads.

It was fun to play with my elements and come up with different layouts!!


Gatefold cards - ladies!

Created these for a monthly exchange I participate in!! Have not made gate fold cards in quite a while and surprisingly I made five of them today!!
For the first two, I started with the same colour printed collage image and layered it several times - with blue & yellow for the left hand card and green with yellow for the one on the right. Was fun to create two fairly different looks using the same image. Added hand decorated paper to my card fronts once they were folded encasing the vintage seam binding as needed. A little bit of bling was enough to finish them off!!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Handmade paper booklets

I finished off these booklets this morning!! They are handouts for my papermaking class tomorrow and feature handmade paper covers!!!
I laser printed my pages, layered them between the handmade paper covers, punched the holes using a template and bound them with colourful fibers!!

I am looking forward to my class tomorrow! Have prepped several different batches of paper so the participants will be able to take home several different sheets and really get an idea for the scope of what is possible when recycling paper scraps!!

No doubt there will be a pile of paper to feature here in the next few days!!


More beeswax!

What is better than one friend and a play date?? Two friends and play date, of course!! We visited with Marg a few days later and brought along our beeswax collage box of goodies and played all day!! I started with this collage which I created on a chipboard coaster - be on the look out at garage sales, etc for these -they are perfect little canvases!! This one was ivory so I just created on the back side. First, I applied some beeswax and layered in a piece of paper napkin that coordinated with the woman's dress and added the script and edging (paper napkin). I cut out and layered in the woman who was printed on cardstock which helped her stand out and not be transparent like the paper napkin images which had been separated into single layers and were very transparent after the application of beeswax. The paper napkin rose and words on bond paper were added afterwards. Again, I applied beeswax to the edges of the coaster and applied gold Pearl EX to the whole thing. Marg suggested buffing with pantihose afterwards and it REALLY makes the whole collage very transparent and shiny!! Really happy with the way it turned out!!
This was my second attempt!! Went with a bit of a steampunk look!! Started with some copper and black mesh from Magenta, added some blue paper napkin over that, then added my cut out collage images - map, tower, clock face over medallion, portrait and little man. This time, I added texture by using a rubber stamp!! I added a pool of wax over the map, heated it with a heat gun until all molten and then placed my stamp into the wax. I had added embossing ink to the stamp - rubbed it into the surface so that all the rubber was covered - before placing it in the wax. When the wax had cooled the stamp came off very easily but you do have to wait for the wax to cool before removing the stamp. Instant texture!! I added a small copper gear as my little 3D embellishement and I was done. Added beeswax to the edges and copper Pearl EX as usual. The Pearl Ex really highlighted the texture I added using the stamp!! A little buffing with the pantihose and I was done!! Really happy with this one too!!

UPDATE: I finished off this beeswax collage today for submission for an Art Lottery I am participating in!!
I cut a brown circular backer for it and glued it in place with double sided tape and glue to be sure it would stay in place. I punched two holes and set copper eyelets in each one to accommodate a hanger. Added a short piece of black 3/8" gros grain ribbon as a hanger.It finished it off quite nicely!!


After a wonderful lunch - Thanks Marg!! I created this little collage. I was experimenting with adding colour using wax crayons and the little mini iron! Works like a darn!! It will take a little practice to get the coloured wax nicely blended and dripped where I want it!!
For my first try, I am happy with the results. Realized as well that elements can be attached with drops of wax - coloured or otherwise. Adding colour takes a bit of planning and is a little harder to remove completely!!
All in all, a great day of projects and learning as you go!! It was great to have others playing at the same time, comparing notes and seeing what others were doing!! I will be relegating a pair of pantihose to my craft room to be used with beeswax. They are a little lonely in the drawer anyway!!
Nights are getting much cooler and the days are comfortable!! The seasons are changing!! So are the trees here and there!!
Enjoy the last bits of summer and play a little with your friends!!


Beeswax collage - friends

Have been visiting with my friend, Linda!! It is so wonderful to have creative friends that you can have play dates with!! We played with beewax and came up with several collages!!
Here is my first one! I brought along some 4" masonite squares and we started with those. I layered some small collage images - Eiffel Tower, bottle of wine on an elegant table, an old trunk and an old clock face (scrap bin) over an embossed panel and a handmade paper background which were all layered onto the tile using beeswax. We painted our tiles with white gesso before we started to help with the reflection of light through the layers. Really glad we did because it turned out a bit on the dark side because of the elements I used. Finally, I added some words which I layered onto white bond so they would be clearly visible and a copper eyelet to the center of the clock. I like to have at least one 3D element to add a bit of dimension though I was able to add a fair amount of texture to the wax using my little clover leaf mini iron. Once I was happy with my collage I added wax to the edges and highlighted the whole thing with copper Pearl Ex -sides as well. The Pearl Ex really brings out the texture in the beeswax. I had predrilled holes, so it was easy to add a wire hanger and some beads to finish it off!!
I am using a small crock pot to melt my wax and a natural bristle brush to add the wax to my collage pieces and substrate. We used both a heat gun and the mini iron to help encase our elements into the beeswax surface we had created when adding our backgrounds. I am melting ivory beeswax sheets in my crockpot and Linda was using Ranger Beewax in her Ranger Melting Pot with an insert. Both work perfectly well!!

We experimented with coasters next!!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Christmas - Joy

Still more Christmas cards!!
Embossed white core cardstock with a star embossing folder (Darice) and sanded it! I cut out the inside of the frame using an exacto knife, tied on a white ribbon with a gold tie and backed the hole with white embossed (CB) cardstock.
The joy is a diecut (SX) which I cut from adhesive backed cardstock (release paper facing up), peeled off the backing and sprinkled with red glitter (MS) which I pressed into the adhesive rather than rubbing it in. Pressing gives more of a dimensional look to the glitter - rubbing gives a more reflective quality to the glitter!! I applied glue to the back using a fine tip applicator, gently placed it into the opening and applied only slight pressure to not disturb my glitter. I applied this layer to a red card front!!
This card satisfies this week's challenge on CST - having the sentiment as the main element of the card and Sylvia's August Christmas card challenge - glitter!!

Thrifty Tip: Need a fine tip applicator for white glue?? Use an empty fabric paint bottle with a fine applicator tip!! Works wonderfully!! Have paint left in the bottle?? Create some decorative paper with the paint - squeeze onto paper and distribute with a brush or fingers!!


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Christmas card - reason for the season!

I designed this card around the beautiful star stamp which was perfect for Sylvia's May challenge - The reason for the season!!
I gold embossed the star onto a layer of kraft cardstock (M) on which I had previously laser printed a small Bethlehem graphic. The graphic was designed for a different card a few weeks ago which never saw the light of day! I painted bleach onto the center star section of the embossed image and to my delight it bleached out to this wonderful yellow colour which was perfect for the image and the look I was going for!! I used a stipple stamp and bleach to add some glow below the star. Once all was dry, I mounted the image onto red cardstock. I layered the card front with this beautiful gold flourish paper and added the star layer with 3D foam tape!! Done!!
I did modify both of my cardstocks to be a better fit for the flourish paper.
THRIFTY TIP: I sponged/stippled just the edges of the card front and the red layer with ink to get its colour to coordinate closer with the decorative paper. I used OCHRE ink on the red layer to bring it closer to the scarlet that I needed and PINE ink on my garden green card front to darken it enough to coordinate.
I would not want to do this for a large batch of cards but for the few I made it was worth the effort to have cardstock that coordinated better with my decorative paper!

I have one challenge to go!! Maybe my tomorrow!!


Christmas cards from my stash!

One of the benefits of playing in your craft room is finding "stuff" that you didn't really remember you had!! Case in point - I found this ribbon in my ribbon drawer and thought it was the perfect colours for making a few Christmas cards!! I was expecting - quick and easy - a few cards in less than a hour!! The process took much longer than I thought it would but this design finally emerged and it is a quick and easy card!!
I embossed the cardinal (SX) onto white cardstock and mounted it onto the right hand side of my card which was designed to fit in some envelopes that were given to me a few years ago. I cut the ribbon to fit, added it to the left hand side with double sided tape and added three confetti stars using gold brads!! Voila - a Christmas card!! I did embellish the stamped image with my StarDust gel pen which provided just enough bling!! The ribbon is flocked and came prebound in the red, green and red format!! It provides texture and richness in this card.
I am always on the look out for interesting supplies to include in my creations and this ribbon was the perfect accent for this card!!


Christmas around the world!

Sylvia's challenge for July was Christmas Around the World!! It got me thinking how many different traditions are associated with this celebration. For many, going to Midnight Mass as a family is a highlight in their Christmas season. With that in mind, I colour printed some snowy village images that featured people on their way to church.
I cut the images with my oval Nestibilities (N), glued it to coordinating cardstock and trimmed it with scallop decorative scissors. The card front has a full layer of embossed (CB) cardstock and an embossed die cut (SX) in which I punched a slot (SU) on the left hand side and a 1/4" hole on the right hand side. I tied in some vintage seam binding using a double knot. I mounted the oval scene over the ribbon using 3D foam tape and glued the whole piece to the card front.
I am really happy with these cards. The cardstock and image give just the right feel and I love the vintage seam binding!!!
I will have to do a final count of my Christmas card stash once I have these all done!! If you have not yet started I urge to start now! You will be very happy to have your cards all finished when November comes around!!


Snowflakes & a snowman for a card challenge!

My sister is visiting and we are crafting up a storm!!
I have been making Christmas cards for my stash using the challenges she has posted to her blog. These ones are for the April Challenge - Winter.
I started with this wonderful paper that my daughter used on my gift last year!! It is gorgeous!! This card features a snowman cut out which I embossed with the Swiss Dot embossing folder (CB) and backed with the paper. I embellished the corners with a flourish corner punch and added a gold snowflake with a gold brad. I like the card but somehow it did not highlight the beauty of the paper as much as I liked so I moved on and designed another card!

For this card, I layered my decorative paper onto cardstock which eliminated the fold marks, trimmed it to 4" x 5.25" and glued it to the front of my A2 sized card. Next, I cut a scallop (N) from white and layered over it two snowflake die cuts (SX) in blue and purple. I added a small fiber snowflake and attached them all together using a gold brad. I pierced each scallop and embellished the whole thing with my Stardust gel pen!!
I tied some white pearly fiber to the left hand side of my card and added my snowflake element using 3D foam tape. Thought it needed a bit of something so added a colour printed "Let it snow" greeting which I punched out using my Window Punch (SU) and mounted with 3D foam tape!!

I am happier with this one! It nicely highlights this wonderful snowflake paper!!!
I love reusing items in my creative projects!! It is even better when the item has been given with love and care!! Consider giving new life to some beautiful paper, a wonderful commercial card, some awesome ribbon, a great gift bag or envelope by reusing them in your creations!!

My stash is coming along!!!


Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Inchies for a swap on AFTCM!! These were fun to make though I discovered that finding items small enough to be included on these little canvases needed some creative thinking. I found confetti worked really well - check out the coffee cup, cat, angel, doves and the sun. Punchies, rhinestones and snippets from other projects worked well too. It is a perfect place to use scraps of beautiful paper and words from a really small dictionary!!
I started with leftover supplies from my June cardmaking session where I created these quick and easy cards - they were the perfect little canvases!! A trip to my collage bucket gave me everything else I needed. The canvases were created using a 1" cardstock square and a 3/4" piece of decorative paper. They were embellished with small decorative elements - confetti, punchies, snippets, ribbon, dictionary words and rhinestones. Finally, embellished using my Stardust clear or metallic gel pens!!
The Stardust gel pen by Sakura is great!! It puts on only glitter - no colour! A very rich glitter!! Every papercrafter should have one of these pens though I have not found them anywhere locally. My sister brought me one two years ago when she came on vacation. I love it!!
Crafting with my sister this week and getting caught up on my Christmas cards using her challenges!!