Sunday, January 29, 2012

Masculine card

My card box is completely out of masculine cards so I set about making one today.  I am hoping to be able to use this same sketch in different colours with a different stamp to make a few more!!
Used the TH Ornamental die to cut my book page, sponged and stamped the edges of the die cut and stamped my little boat in a teal ink.  Laid it over a double embossed background from my stash, added a knotted ribbon and a colour printed greeting.  I punched the greeting using the SU tab punch which I thought echoed nicely the shape of the die cut, sponged it a bit too and attached it using 3D foam tape!!
The next ones should go more quickly!!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Charm bracelets

 Here are the two charm bracelets I created today using charms I created and received during my participation in the AFTCM charm swaps last year.   I started by separating my charms into two groups - ones with gold tones and ones with silver tones.

I laid the charms out as I wanted them to appear on the bracelet with the largest ones towards the middle and filling in with all the others. Just adding them to the chain's links using jump rings. I did create a few simple charms using I-pins and beads to use as fillers as well.  Our swapped charms were made using bottle caps, fragments, shrink plastic, CDs, dominoes and polymer clay.

I added some I made on my own using Scrabble tiles, "glass" beads I made using plastic from pop bottles and even one made from a paper bead.  I also added a cool stitched fabric inchie I received in one of my inchie swaps last year.
This project was a real stash buster for me.  I had the chain bracelets, jump rings, the I-pins & beads and the extra charms in my stash .
I am not sure how often I will wear these bracelets so I thought I would try to find a neat way to display them.

Here I have tied them around the sloping sides of an inverted glass. They sure look great!!So I am considering finding a bottle with the right diameter so I can display them nicely when I am not wearing them.  It seems a shame to store them in a box where no one will see them!!Might even wear them more often if they are where I can see them often!!

I am so glad I participated in the charm swap!!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Steampunk Doll

A steampunk doll!!  I created her for a swap on AFTCM.  We had free rein to create a doll that fit our imagination of what a steampunk doll was, so I did a bit of internet research, downloaded a few images and a template and started a bit of list of items I thought would be neat to include.
I started with a paper doll template from The Enchanted Gallery which I printed on white cardstock.  I rough cut all the pieces, glued them to thin chipboard (back of a writing pad) and then cut them out properly.  I chose to use the articulated arms and was happy I did when I was dressing her.  I printed another set, cut them out and glued them on the back so she would be the same colour on the front as the back.  I used a push pin to make holes and assembled my doll using black mini brads.
I downloaded a page of clipart from and printed one of the faces large enough to fit on the head.  I had originally started with a moveable head but when I was getting ready to glue on the face I decided to remove the brad and glued the head to the body and the face to the head.  I drew a bodice on her torso, coloured it in and added some sparkle.  I drew her some stockings as well and coloured them in.  I had taken a picture of her with just her undies but alas my camera did not have a memory card in it at the time, so, no picture!!  I coloured the rest of her in with a mix of chalk and pencil crayon and drew her some boots which I glued in place.
The hat was on a victorian woman I downloaded from the Vintage Feed Sacks  blog.  I isolated the hat and sized it to fit on my doll.  I coloured it, added some bling and then traced it onto cardstock and cut another one which I glued to the back of her hat just at the top which makes it removable!!
I created a necklace for her using chain and a little pendant to which I added a rhinestone.  It nicely covered the transition from the neck (clipart) to the body (template).  I also created a blouse for her.  I laid her out on my fabric and marked out the T top I thought would be a good size and cut it out.  I hemmed the sleeves and then put right sides together and stitched the back to the front.  I did cut a small slit for the head before I sewed them together which I had to enlarge just a little to get the top on her.  I was really glad she could fold her arms when I was fitting this top.  I added a horizontal cut at the top of my slit which created the back of the neckline and folded the extra flaps from the front slit inside and sewed them in place by hand which finished the front quite nicely. You can see just a bit of her bodice peeking out of her V neckline.  I did sew in a bit of a bauble at the bottom of the V and added a butterfly brooch once I was finished.

I sewed a straight black skirt for her.  The selvage was all fringed so I used that instead of hemming it and created a cool metal embellishment to highlight the waist.  I sewed on the embellishment and then ran a basting stitch from each side to the back leaving ends which I used to tie up the skirt once it was on her.  Keeps everything nicely in place and gives a bit of a bustle look in the back. I added more metal embellishments  - a few I sewed on, the others I added to the waist embellishment.   I took the photo before adding the final embellishments.
It was fun digging through my stash to create embellishments.  The waist one was created using an old earring back in the middle with a double heart stud earring attached in the center.  I used modified shepherd hooks on either side.
I created a purse for her using a graphic I downloaded from Arthur's clip art.of an Astrolab.  I isolated one of the circles, printed two of them, added colour and sandwiched a piece of chipboard between them.  I added a black fiber ring all the way around to cover the chipboard's edge.  I punched a hole in the top section and inserted my hardware (back of a clip on earring) and held it in place on the front using a glue dot.  I love that it has a heart on it!!  I punched a hole on each side and added a length of chain with jump rings.

It was fun to be dressing up a paper doll and creating metal embellishments from odds and ends I have saved from other projects!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Flip Flop card with a twist

In one of my groups we are having a Flip Flop card swap and the theme is Happy New Year!!  I found this tutorial on Splitcoast Stampers which I used as a guideline for creating this card.  I experimented a lot with this design in hopes of being able to use a half sheet of cardstock effectively.  I did not success to get it working the way I wanted to so I just trimmed the middle section so it would fit inside the front and back sections.  I am sure there is a formula for how deep the fold has to be in comparison to the length of your cardstock for it to work perfectly but at this point I just needed to get the card done so I just made it work.
As you can see I went with a snowflake theme and punched my border with my Martha Stewart "daisy" punch.  I cut each piece to fit on the edges and miraculously the corners lined up with snowflakes in them so I just cut each of the pieces diagonally and mitered my corners.  I embossed them
individually with my Swiss Dot (CB) embossing folder before gluing them to my card front.  With them in place I added sparkle in each snowflake and opening using my clear Stardust gel pen.  I added lines around my central panel, around the circle  that holds my snowflake and on the back around the punched hole as well.
In the center panel, I punched a 1.75 hole (SU) and then used a Nestibilities round die to cut a hole in the white layer so that a bit of the black would show then embossed it as well.  I punched two snowflakes (MS) from silver cardstock and glued them to each other sandwiching some clear thread between them.  I applied double sided tape to the edges of the hole - top and bottom - and centered the snowflake in the hole and pressed the clear thread into the tape.  I would recommend that you fold the thread over and apply another piece of tape to prevent the thread from coming out later.  I glued the white layer centered over the black opening which effectively framed my snowflake.
So, now I can twist the snowflake, lay it flat and insert it in the envelope.  When the recipient removes it from the envelope the snowflake will twirl!!  It happens very quickly but is ever so cool!!
Here is a link to video tutorial on how to create the twirling part of this card.
On the left you can see the back of the center panel which is what is revealed when you open the card by pulling the ends apart.  I did punch the back side of the center panel with my snowflake punch and added a double knotted ribbon to the front edge.
Pretty happy with this card!!  The black and white colour scheme does Happy New Year very nicely and the twirling snowflake is the little extra excitement that each new year should have!!  It will be off to my partner on Monday!!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

DIY - Vellum stickers

Vellum stickers!!  Who would have considered that you could create your own??  I certainly had not until I wrestled with getting the look I wanted on those vintage cards!!  I laser printed my greetings on vellum, cut them apart and applied double sided tape on the back of them!!  That easy!!  Though I must point out that you have to have a continuous layer of adhesive on the back of your vellum to get a nice smooth look when you apply your sticker to your surface.  As you can see from the photo I used a metal ruler to hold my little piece of vellum in place which also gave me a line to work from when I was applying my double sided tape. I used double sided tape with a paper backer which makes it easier to trim and apply.  I trimmed the vellum to the edge of the tape so I would get the seamless look I was going for.  I expect you could carefully apply several lines of tape on a larger piece of vellum and get the same effect.  Wider double sided tape would also be beneficial!!
So I anticipate using this technique again!!  There are times you just want sticky vellum and nothing else will do!!  Give it a try!!


Faux washi tape

So here is how I created my vintage looking "washi" tape!  I started with paper tape which I bought at a discount store, which is designed for keeping bandages in place.  I applied lengths from the roll to my large cutting board and started adding colour using permanent Memories stamp pads.  The ink beaded up so I added a bit of water with a foam brush which helped to spread the colour around.  I added several layers in several different colours and then stamped all over it using a large "worn" background stamp.  It was taking a long time to dry so I eventually just rubbed off what I could with a paper towel and decided I was done.  As you can see, the tape did take on some colour - it was less obvious when they were all side by side on the cutting mat.  I simply rerolled the coloured paper tape back onto the roll it originally came off of.  I am pretty happy with my first attempt at making my own "washi" tape.  Because this paper tape is somewhat resistant to inks I decided to use acrylic paints on my second attempt.  It was more successful though it still resisted the colour washes in the beginning - a thicker consistency seemed to work better.  The second one I created was for use on the butterfly and bee cards.  I will keep experimenting!!  I expect this substrate will not work very well for creating the very bright and fun types of washi tape that is all the rage at the moment.  There are other options to consider and try!!
A fun project!  I am looking forward to using my tape in my projects!!


Cardmaking - Jan - Vintage cards

Don't these look like they were taken from a vintage scrapbook??  I found these great images at Graphic Fairy and thought it would be fun to see if could create cards with them.  I love the soft colours and the beautiful edges.  I had also wanted to try my hand at creating my own "washi tape" so I decided to combine them into a vintage card.  I went looking for a vintage ledger paper graphic or something similar to layer my image on.  Not happy with much of what I found I asked my DH if we had any fullscap, which I intended on aging.  As it turns out, we have a stash of fullscap and some near the bottom of the pile was nicely yellowed and perfect for these cards.  The fullscap is vintage!!  Probably from our high school years!!  I scanned several pieces before I used it, in case I ever need it again - I will be able to print my own.   Once cut to size for backgrounds on a black card front I stamped them in light ink to mimic old faded handwriting - really happy with how that worked out.  Then to complete the look I needed some old looking tape so I created my own vintage looking washi tape using white paper tape.  I will include more info in my next posting.  To finish off my card I wanted a bit of a Victorian greeting but had nothing that would really do, so again I decided to create what I needed.  Combined some neat fonts with some scrollwork graphics from my clipart and I had some Victorian greetings I was happy with.  Now, to get them onto the paper without it looking like they had been added.  I eventually decided to create some vellum stickers which did the job very nicely!!  Check out my next posting for more info on how I did that!!
So in the end, some vintage looking cards that I am happy with!!


Cardmaking - Jan - little strip of art

These cards feature a stamp set called "A little bit of happiness.." by Stampin UP.  Four stamps in the set - flowers, butterflies, hearts and leaves!!  I stamped them out onto white cardstock using Staz On ink and trimmed them to size.  I watercoloured the images, layered them onto slim rectangles of cardstock that coordinated with my decorative paper which was glued to my card front.  I added a couple strips of ribbon which I adhered with double sided tape to finish the card. I may consider adding a greeting in the lower right hand side when I am ready to use the cards!!

A handmade card is like giving love in an envelope  - everyone should do it!!


Cardmaking - Jan - Little stacks of...

After seeing a card on Splitcoast Stampers that had a repeated image up the side I decided to see what I could do to make one that was similar.  They had used a bird but I decided I would like a cup.  Not having a stamp that was small enough I decided to check out the clipart section of my layout program - Corel Draw.  Oh my!!  Needless to say, I found what I needed and more!  Look at that cool stack of gifts!!  I created one with hearts for anyone who needed a Valentine's card and created a horizontal one with little houses!!  I had not expected to create four different designs, but that is the way it often goes once you get started!!  I added a bit of embossing, simple layering and a little tie for dimension onto my watercoloured image and it was done!!
These were really fun to create!!

Cardmaking - Jan - "R" tape

I am back to my cardmaking sessions!  I had a great time designing cards this week!!
These "R" tape cards turned out so neat.  What is "R" tape you ask?  Well, before Christmas I picked up a roll of "R" tape at the craft store in the discount bins.  I was not sure what I was going to do with it but they had lots of rolls with all sorts of letters on them.  I decided on "R" because it can be word as well as a letter!!  It is 2" wide and has a black background and clear letters!!  How cool is that?? I was sure it would be great fun for using in mixed media and journalling,  but this week I was prepping card kits. so I thought I would see what I could come up with!!  I glued a strip of tape to a quarter sheet of colourful cardstock and
then trimmed the top and bottom so they would be even with the edge of the tape and squared off the ends if they needed it.  Tape can have a mind of its own sometimes!! I finished off this layer by punching the edges with a border punch.  Then, I decided to add a greeting and incorporate one of the "R"s from the tape into it.  I used a font called "Kidnap" to generate the other letters I needed and created a word oval, as well.  Once the letters were cut out I auditioned them on the tape to see which "R" would incorporate best into the greeting then attached the letters using 3D foam tape.  I placed the little word oval just above the "R" to help the greeting read properly.   Layered this great greeting over an embossed layer then onto a black card front.
I love the way these turned out!!  They are just a bit funky and would be great to give to a teenager!!


Friday, January 13, 2012

4x4 chunky book page

On AFTCM, we are exploring the Teesha Moore style and are having a 4x4 chunky book page swap. " Let's face it" is the theme and this is the concept I came up with - four faces.  Using handmade decorative paper  cut to 4x4, I laid one on top of the other and drew the center line and then cut it out.  I transposed the pieces so that each side would have a pink and blue face and glued them to a 4x4 of white cardstock.  Started by tracing the cut line and continued adding texture and details such as the eyes with black Sharpie markers in three different sizes.  Also, cut out hearts for lips and glued them in place.  Added silver Sharpie in several different areas for accent and a bit of bling.  Happy with the result!!
It is a reminder that we can only change ourselves.  As we change our perspective, we see the world differently and, therefore, make different choices which changes the world for us.  We are co-creators!!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Black Magic Snowflakes!!

This technique is so dramatic that I thought I would try it with snowflakes!! There is a tutorial on Splitcoast you can check out!
 I stamped three different snowflakes on a quarter sheet of black cardstock using white pigment and the greeting on a black scrap using the same ink.  Once dry, I coloured all the white using blue, lilac, mauve and silver pencil crayons.  For the final touch, I added dots using a white gel pen - just makes everything pop!!  I trimmed the quarter sheet to leave a small border all the way round on an A2 card and then cut out a rectangle from the middle using a rectangle Nestibilities.  I cut the greeting close and layered both using white cardstock.  The elements were assembled onto a white card.  One little white punched snowflake (MS) attached with a black mini brad was the final touch!!
I am really happy with the way this one turned out!!  Makes a great card for a winter celebration!!


Monochromatic Blue!

Lots of blue!!  Created this one for a Monochromatic Blue swap!! I am really happy with how the blues in this card work with each other.  There was a fair amount of swapping until I was happy with all the layers!  The image is from my image stash - clear embossed on white and colour washed with watercolour.  I keep printed, stamped, coloured, cut out images - actually all images that don't work out for the project I am working on.  As in this case, this image was the focal point of the card and I built all the blue layers and embellishments around it!!  Perfect!!  I used some very cool velvet ribbon on this card - it is such a nice baby blue and has lots of texture - would have been too thick to knot so for this application - backed with double sided tape - it worked out just right.  Added blue rhinestones to each scallop on the border (SU border punch) as well.  The greeting was stamped in blue.  After a bit of experimenting I ended up stamping off once before stamping on my layer to reduce the intensity of the ink.  I like how it turned out!!
It has been fun to play and make cards one at a time!!  I am using the supplies that I really like and have only in limited supply!!  One more swap - finished!!


Valentine card

Back to creating!!  I have combined a swap with a challenge and created this Valentine's card!!  The swap is for a Valentine's card and the challenge is a Valentine's card using red, pink, white and teal.  I started with the bird cage graphic which I download from Graphics Fairy.  Lots of great images there for free!!
I opened the bird cage jpeg in my graphics program (Photo Elements) and removed the numbers and the top perch to allow enough room for my birds.  I had fully intended on stamping the birds but getting them just where they needed to be became problematic so I decided to draw a couple instead.  They are simple line drawings but I am happy with the way they turned out.  I combined them in my layout program (Cored Draw) and sized them for my card before laser printing them.  I dug through my paper scraps and found this red and pink paper which I combined with the teal trimmings created when I layered my watercoloured image.   I punched a hole at the top of the cage and tied in some vintage pink seam binding to finish off my card!!
So I will be submitting this card to the Valentine card challenge at Class Acts and sending along the actual card to my swap partner!!
I have several other projects on the go and will be uploading them as they are completed!!

Happy creating!!


Happy New Year!!

The gift of a new year!!
As you can see from the photo, we are welcoming this year with mild weather and today has brought the first "snow day" with lots of ice and very little snow!!  With no snow before it started and the prediction of above freezing temperatures for the next few days I expect there will be none to speak of again!
We had a wonderful Christmas with lots of family in many different places so we are happy to be back home and getting back into a routine.  Though, with saying that, our routine will be a different one as my DH retired and we will be learning to live with each other.  We are up to the task, looking forward to having more time with each other and fully aware that there will be bumps in the road before we are full speed ahead with the rest of our lives!!  We are grateful that we have all we need and have been blessed with more!!