Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cardmaking - March - embossed handmade paper

These cards were our last of the night and quick & easy!!  We layered some decorative paper to a coordinating card front and glued on our little sheets of embossed handmade paper.  Added a layered greeting  and some ribbon with staples!!  The greeting is a combination of the SU window punch and the modern label punch - they layer very nicely.  I have a reusable Corel Draw file I use to create whatever greetings I need that have the correct format for punching with the window punch which is a great time saver when I have kits to prepare!!
It was great to see some new people last night and some I haven't seen in a while!!  A great group!!

Spring has sprung here - daffodils are 8" high already!!!  Will probably be blooming within the week!!


Cardmaking - March - embedded shapes

This card uses the lattice embossing folder (SU) to embed shapes into a piece of cardstock!!  What a great technique!!  The embossed cardstock has a quilted look and the punchies look like they are part of the paper!!  You could probably use any of the other very textured embossing folders to created this same look.
I first used a border punch on the bottom of my layer and then simply glued my punched shapes to the cardstock layer and ran it through my Big Kick using the embossing folder!  Voila!!  We added a piece of ribbon with a short piece tied to it, to this layer, glued that to our coordinating card front and then added our round embellishment/greeting using 3D foam tape!!
This is another really fun technique!!  Save your extra punchies in one place and pretty soon you will have enough to do this technique!!  Or punch out several shapes from your scraps of coloured cardstock before filing it in the "round file" or in my case into my bucket for papermaking!!


Cardmaking - March - restructured paper

For our second card last night we used  restructured paper  for the background!!  I love the look of this paper!!
I also provided a silver foil frame die cut (SX) which, as you can see in the photo, could be used in several different ways.  I sanded the one on the right before I embossed it which gives it a more subtle look.  We punched our back layer for the greeting from the middle of the large oval (NS) layer before we added our coloured image.  These are digital images from Melonheadz Illustrations.  They are cute and whimsical yet have a lot of graphic quality to them.  The ribbon is just a bit off white so it would coordinate with the restructured paper.  To get the right colour I dyed white ribbon using tumeric - yes, the spice!!  Very cool, and gave me just the yellowy off white colour I needed.  Assembled all the elements on a black card front.  The card on the right is for my son who just got a new job!!!


Cardmaking - March - Ewe cards

This is the first card we made at cardmaking last night.  We had two young cardmakers join us so it was fun to start with a cute one!!
The Ewe was created using a scallop circle punchie (SU) which I embossed with a swirly embossing folder.  You trim a five petal punchie  (SU) leaving three petals together to create the head and ears and the two others are used for the legs!  Pretty cool!!  I searched the internet for ewe punchie tutorials and found quite a few different ways of making them using different punches. Here is a tutorial for this one This ewe is created by adding eyes to the middle section - head - using white gel pens.  Glued this piece to the front of the scallop and the legs to the back.  The background is created using three different embossed layers - blue for the sky, one green for the tree line and another for the grass.  One of the girls at class used the thin darker strip below the sky and it creates the look of a meadow with a distant tree line instead.  I love teaching because of what I learn from my students!!
The greeting is laser printed, trimmed with decorative scissors before being layered onto black and adhered to the card front with 3D foam tape.  I also used 3D foam tape to adhere the ewe!!  You can see on one of them I added three diamonds which just gives the card a bit more punch.  I think I will add them to the other one!!  I found several "ewe" sayings online and you can obviously substitute "ewe" for "you" in all the regular greetings!!


Masked tree swap card

On one of my card groups I had to create a card for a swap that used masking.  Not a technique I do very often but I found a tree images that I thought would be suitable, laser printed it, added some yellow ink using an oval stencil, added the circle punchie as a mask and sponged on several other colours to create a sky.  It is a fun technique which I should use more often because it has a lot of punch with out too much time!!
Used the SU scallop border punch on the bottom and pierced each scallop, layered it onto teal and added the vintage seam binding tying the scrap to simulate a bow.  Layered this element to a black card!!

Happy with it!!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Birth Announcement

Our newest grandson!!  He was born four weeks ago and both Mom and baby are doing well.
The design of this announcement is a cooperative effort between my daughter, my sister and myself.  My daughter wanted a large letter on the front of the announcement and because of a short timeline I had to consider other options besides cutting them all out by hand.  We had hoped to use my sister's Cricuit to cut them but, unfortunately, because we could not adjust the aspect ratio of the letters we did not have a font that would properly fit the front of an A2 sized card.  During a brainstorming session with my sister she suggested using transparencies which is the route I chose and I am very happy with the way everything worked out.
Once I had worked out the lay out I hoped that my daughter could provide a photo with the elements  - baby on the right and something cute on the left that would be hidden below the stem of the L and only revealed when the announcement was opened.  Yeah!  She did it!!  Apparently, with the camera in one hand and the puppet in the other!!  I did digitally scale down the puppet and moved it over and down a bit so it would be completely hidden behind the L and was fortunate that the background was very forgiving!!  He is a cutie!!
So after digitally modifying the photo I added his name and stats below it  - covered by the bottom part of the L in the scan.  Printed them all on heavy weight laser copy paper and trimmed them.  I also printed a backer with a welcome from the rest of the family - Mom and Dad and his brother and sister!!  The large L was adjusted to fit perfectly on the front and filled with a "marbled paper" background which I found in Corel Draw then colour laser printed on laser transparencies.   I used brads to assemble the pieces as I did not want any glue to show.  I put the brads in from the back and covered the tangs on the inside with diecut embossed buttons to which I had tied some white cording.  I also added a large one to the front for a bit of texture!!
So we welcome another member to the family.  We have grown by one every year for the last five years!!  We are grateful for the new little people that we will watch grow and for their parents who have chosen to bring them into the world.  It is the circle of life!!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Glittered Christmas cards

I created Christmas cards with the spare trees I glittered when I was creating my calendar!!
I layered the glittered trees over some gold foiled paper, added a ripped embossed paper snowbank and a gold embossed layered greeting.  A quick and easy cards and my first Christmas cards this year!!
I had Christmas cards left over from last year so I have been less motivated to get started really early this year.
I am happy to have been able to create some cards with the bits I had left over from my class.  It is always harder to use up bits later on when the vision for them has been replaced with something else!!


Anniversary cards

Made up a few anniversary cards with hearts I glittered when I was creating my calendar pages.  They also feature some of the restructured paper I created a few weeks ago.  I love the look of this paper!!
I combined red and white heart ribbon with strip of black border punched (SU) cardstock and layered it over the restructured paper to which I had added a stitched border using a fine tip permanent marker.  I used a white gel pen to embellish the scallops.  Attached the glittered heart using 3D foam tape.

I really love the look of  these cards!!


Wedding invitations

 This is the final design of wedding invitations I created for a couple who are getting married in just less than a month!!  I have been waiting until the package was received and they were happy with their little bundle before I posted them here.

I love the simple elegance of this design!
I used a flourish embossing folder to do both sides of the white gate fold invitation and embellished the front with three hearts (SZ - tipsy heart) - two embossed and one silver foil!!  The inside features a single laser printed panel with their wording.
These are the samples I provided for them after they had been through the links to cards on my blog that I thought might be appropriate for use as wedding invitations.  They simply substituted the silver foil for the red!!

I wish them blessings as they start a life together and hope they will always celebrate the good of being together!!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Embossed handmade paper

 Just thought I would share with you how I made the embossed handmade paper I used on the leaf card on this posting.
I started with white paper pulp which is created using blank white paper (mostly partial sheets) from the printer and plain white cardstock scraps I collect from my paper crafting.  Using my small mould and deckle I form a sheet and then place my embossing sheet over it with the design side down and couch as usual.  In the process of eliminating as much water as possible from the newly made sheet it also gets embossed.  I carefully remove the embossing sheets and leave the little embossed sheets to air dry.  They are often a bit wavy once they are dry so I stack them and pressed them under weight - a stack of encyclopedias.
Here you can see one of the embossing sheets my sister and I created.  We drew our images on a piece of paper, overlaid a small piece of handiwipe over each one and used hot glue to create the shapes onto the handiwipe!!  The handmade paper does not stick to them and they can be reused.

It is a fun process with a very unique look. If you are thinking of making your own start with basic shapes made up of simple lines.  The sky is the limit when it comes to subject matter!!    Have fun!!


Cards with calendar page art

This week we finished our calendars so I prepared cards kits for the students to work on for the last two classes.
 Here are some of the cards I put together with pieces I had previously prepared for the art calendars. I was working with a 4.25" x 5.5" format so I simply trimmed their edges with decorative scissors and glued them to coordinating card fronts.
The embossed leaf was in my stash so I combined it with decorative paper and
coordinating cardstock then added a short piece of ribbon with a mini staple tocreate a card!!
We also played with shrink plastic which is always a hit with the students.


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Thank you cards

Created these cards for the girls who attended my Stampin UP party last week.
They feature the restructured paper I made a while back using owl postage, tissue paper, paper napkin and skeleton leaves!!  I wanted to highlight the paper so I only added a small tag and some lace.  I cut the tags using a Sizzix (SX) scallop tag die, stamped the greeting in black and sponged the edges.  The card on the right features reused cardstock which was a Chapters gift card enclosure from years ago.  Added a butterfly!  To make the butterfly I stamped black cardstock with bleach using a butterfly stamp (SU), used the butterfly punch (SU)  to cut them out and tied on some cording to create the body and antenna.  I really like the look of making butterflies this way which I found somewhere on the internet. I will add a link when I recover it.  I added some black lace seam binding in the hole and adhered it to the card front using 3D foam tape.
It is always fun having a party!!  Catherine, my SU demo, always has fun make and takes and is always showing us some new technique or product.  I have ordered CD cases this year in hopes of storing my unmounted stamps in a way that I can more easily access them.


Wednesday, March 07, 2012

2012 calendar page

Here is a look at my completed calendar.  It stands on its own though I have added holes at the top of each page so it can be hung.  Yesterday, I realized that the bulk of it might prevent that from being effective so I added a cord hanger which is about 1.5" long (a loop through the holes in each page) so it can be easily hung.
These are the 12 pages of my second calendar which are not exactly the same as the previous pieces of art I have shared with you!!
A totally fun project!!  We all need calendars to help us keep track of our lives so why not create
for ourselves a calendar worthy of looking at every day because it features our best art!!


Monday, March 05, 2012

Embossed metal art

This piece of art features an embossed metal flower which the students created in this class.  It is layered onto an embossed oval (NS), an embossed silver foil label (TH) and then layered onto a piece of my new restructured paper which I also embossed!!
I love the splash of colour created by the brads and the oval in contrast to the neutrals of the background and the glitz of the foil!!

This is the twelfth piece of art for the calendar so we will be putting it all together this week!!  Everyone will be able to decide which piece of art will be featured on each month so their calendars will be unique.

It has been really fun to come up with the layouts for all of these little pieces of art.


Birdie art

I love the combination of the sheet music and the bird!!  This piece of art uses one of the handmade paper sheets we made the first day which has a piece of sheet music layered onto it.  I die cut the body of the little birds (TH) from colourful hand decorated wax crayon  paper I had left over from one of my cards a few weeks ago.  I layered it over a die cut of the whole bird cut from brown cardstock, added a brown wing with 3D foam tape and a tiny black brad for his eye.  I layered the handmade paper over the embossed cardstock background, glued my bird into place and added three little black squares for accent.  I really love the vibrant colours of this little bird.


Seed Paper Art

Another layout for the calendar!  This one features a piece of seed paper which was created several years ago by students at a Art Festival.  They have been sitting in a classroom and were recently returned to me so I decided to use them for this calendar project.  The seed paper is created by forming a sheet of handmade paper, sprinkling on seeds and layering over them a thin piece of paper - in this case, the top layer of a paper napkin.  The piece needed very little else so I just doodled a border using a fine tip Sharpie marker, glued my seed paper in place and added a fiber tie for a bit of texture.


Friday, March 02, 2012

Restructured paper

First read about restructured paper on The Gingerstamp Creations blog in an article written by Petra Berendson here!  I thought it would be a perfect way to use up scraps to make paper for reusing in my art!! We all have papers we love and hate to see any of it go to waste.  In this technique you can create a base of basic paper and then embellish it with any scraps you want to highlight.
I have been saving these newsletters that my sister gave me for a long time and even though they have been sitting I have not read all of them but they were much too beautiful to throw out
or recycle.  So when I read this article I thought they would be the perfect candidates for my first attempt!!  So I went through the pile, read four of them, tore out the articles I wanted to keep and ripped all the remaining pages into 9 pieces. It created quite a stack!!
To get started, I laid a large piece of plastic over my table, thinned some PVA glue and found a foam brush.  The process is easy.  Apply thinned glue to both sides of the paper scraps and lay them down on the plastic overlapping them all as you go.  These are calligraphy guild newsletters so there is some
beautiful writing and great illustrations which created  very interesting looking paper.  I will be using some of this paper to create art for the calendar I am making with my group of young people so I resisted using colour and kept it neutral.
You can see in the top photo the wet restructured paper on the right and the loose pieces on the left.  I can see really having fun with this process using all sorts of scraps.
For this piece of restructured paper I used graphics which were postage from printed envelopes which my sister gave me a few years ago.  These were all owl images  - over 50 or so - which I just glued in rows overlapping each other.  It was a very strong graphic look and I wanted to tone it down some so I added strips of copper and kraft tissue paper, some less than perfect skeleton leaves and some layers of paper napkin that coordinated with the colours I already had.  Everything is overlapping and completely soaked with the thinned glue which creates a new solid piece once it is dry.  I dried the first one over night. The second one I did during the day and found that it took several hours(4-5 hours) to dry but that could vary with temperature and humidity.
I know I will be using this process again. It is very similar in the construction process as fabric paper which I did a while back.  I really like the graphic look of the black and white paper I created and it will do perfectly for the calendar art I am planning.  The coloured one is great as well and I already have a project in mind for it.
I love reusing paper scraps to create unique papers for my art which is why I recycle my scraps into handmade paper.  This process is equivalent in that it reuses scraps as well as larger pieces and creates unique handmade papers for creating with.  You can use old calendar pages, greeting cards, tissue paper, paper napkins, junk mail, handwritten letters, "mistakes", etc.
I hope you will be inspired to create your own restructured paper or to pass your scraps off to someone else who is interested in the process.  You could arrange to swap scraps for unique handcrafted pieces of paper!!!  This would be a fun process for doing as a group as well.   Enjoy!!  Let me know if you give this a try.  I would love to see the paper you have created and the project you used it in.


Thursday, March 01, 2012

Zentangle shrink plastic charm

We created shrink plastic charms today!  I had each student created a Zentangle design on their shrink plastic using a fine tip Sharpie marker. Once they were finished, they punched a hole in the top and used the heat gun to shrink them!  They were all amazed at how much wiggling the shrink plastic does as it shrinks and how cool their designs looked reduced in size!  We attached the charm to the cording and added it to our layered handmade paper sheets by punching holes and tying a double knot on the back.  These were fairly time consuming but worth it because it is original art and a fun experience for the students!!


Stacked strips art

Yesterday, I had the students lay out the strips onto a quarter sheet of label then die cut them all last night so that today they could assemble their piece of art.  We added a long piece of fiber which was wrapped around the die cut and a silk flower accent using 3D foam tape.  Some of the students were quite creative with their layout of the strips which just exemplifies that we are all creative - we find so many possibilities even when we are all handed the very same supplies!!  It is the part of teaching that I like the most - seeing others branch out and try something else!!
I used this same sketch for Christmas cards last fall.  You can check them out here!!

Leaf artwork

Another quick and easy page for the calendar.  Here we used the handmade paper sheet that had been layered with tissue paper.  We simply added a leaf die cut (TH) that had a small piece of fiber tied to its stem. The students have been enjoying adding texture to their pieces using embossing folders in the Big Shot.  I will be putting this one on my calendar page for October!!


Flowers and newspaper art

Another piece for the calendar.  We used one of the small sheets of handmade paper we created the first day.  This one is layered with a small rectangle of newspaper.  We added an embossed flower die cut, two punchies for the center of the flower, three little round punchies as accent and layered the whole element to an embossed quarter sheet of cardstock.  These were nice and quick to do which is great because we have 12 pages to make in less than 8 classes.


Packing tape transfer for art page

Another piece of art for the calendar!!  We did some packing tape transfers for this piece which was really fun and new for this group of students.   I created the ART graphic, printed it with my laser printer, applied the image side to the sticky side of a piece of packing tape and burnished it really well.  Just before class I put them to soak so they would be ready as soon as class began.  We simply removed them from the water, laid them packing tape down and started gently rubbing the paper with our fingers and the paper just started peeling off!!  These are a really cool way to apply a printed image to a layout, journal page or any other surface.
 NOTE:  In response to a few emails about this technique I found a great tutorial online for this technique.  You can check it out at Little Junk Shop!!

The students applied theirs to labels (ornamental - TH) cut from decorative cardstock and then trimmed the transfer to the edges of the die cut.  We layered them onto shiny silver foil cardstock which we had embossed and added our little glittery hearts!!
This one is going to be the first page of my calendar!! Love art!!