Friday, June 29, 2012

Casablanca Arch swap

On AFTCM,  I joined an arch swap with the theme of Casablanca.  I did some internet research and found a poet  - Abhallah Zrika - from Casablanca who has been jailed for his prose poetry and a quote where he expresses his wonder at the power of words.  In the process, I found out a lot about the region and their culture.  Beautiful architecture and tiled buildings!  I found a blog that talked about mosaics and how to create some simple patterns so I decided to create a tiled wall for my arch using one of his simple shapes.  I added an inner arch where I

added some arabic words and a hamsa  - a protection symbol that is used to attract the magic of life and repel evil - it is a lovely hand with a heart!!  I added a cage to protect the words and symbolize this poet's struggle with freedom and two white doves to symbolize peace and the pureness of following one's bliss.  I watercoloured all the squares blue - used extensively in their buildings - and added clear dimensional paint to make them look like tiles.  Once they were dry I added a clear sealer to the rest of the wall to make it look tiled.  As a final touch I added a short piece of white seam binding tied to the cage with a single knot and some blue half pearls to the bottom edge to add a bit of texture.
On the back I used the same hamsa symbol and this quote - " Words are a precious thing; everything can live in them." by Abdallah.   I used my "new to me" score tool (Thanks, Carol) to create a cross hatch pattern inside the inner arch and added my own quote in handwriting!!
A totally fun project which I am really happy with!!  It is off to my partner in today's mail.  


Paint technique swap card

On Just Cards we were challenged to try this paint technique and create a swap card with the resulting paper.  I love creating background papers so I joined the swap!!  For the technique you use dimensional paint to create a pattern on your substrate and while it is still wet you drip on several colours of acrylic paint and drag a credit cart through it.  As you can see I created swirls with my dimensional paint and used two different greens, a yellow and gold for the other colours.  Great look!!   You end up with globs of paint on the side of your paper after dragging your credit card over the whole thing so I used that paint on three more sheets of paper applying the paint using the credit card.  Creates a really cool look and lots of texture - more background paper.  Used some of those sheets for these cards.
For my card I printed a greeting and cactus image from Arthurs Clipart onto a laser transparency and trimmed it to leave an even border all the way around on my card front.  Trimmed my decorative paper to the same size, added a length of seam binding between the image and the greeting and attached it to the card using four small black brads.  I tied a small length of caramel seam binding to the green using a single knot to simulate a bow.
Swaps are fun because they often challenge you to try something you have never tried before.  This was a fun technique I will be using again.


White Wedding swap card

Joined a swap on Just Cards with "W" as the theme and decided to create a white wedding card.  The digital image I downloaded from Graphics Fairy - love the simplicity of this silhouette image.  I laser printed it onto a quarter sheet of white cardstock, embossed it with the Scroll embossing folder, trimmed it and mounted it to a white card front.  I used a sponging template I cut for previous cards and sponged on Gleams Pearl acrylic paint to create the oval shape and then highlighted her dress, headpiece and flowers with the same paint.  It is on its way to my swap partner!!
If you have yet to visit Graphics Fairy I would highly recommend her site!!  It is a wonderful online resource for a wide variety of  craft projects!!  Click the link to her Craft Blog and see what others are creating with her images!  You will be amazed - lots of very cool items - from cakes to home decor!!  


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - a bit of bling

What's the best thing about making Christmas cards??  You can add bling as often as you like!!
Here is another design inspired by Splitcoast Stampers.  I have been seeing this embossing folder used in every format and with several different techniques for the center image so I decided to see if I could find a way to use this embossing folder - Cuttlebug Flourished Frame - for a card in this class.  I perused my digital images and found that these ones had almost the perfect proportions for the frame!!  These are by Melissa Jenkins and were downloaded from her blog when she was offering free images regularly.  They were perfect!!  I laser printed them to the right size, watercoloured them and used 3D foam tape to layer them over the embossed layer which I had already glued to my card front.  Just a few rhinestones glued to the flourishes finished off these cards!!  THRIFTY TIP:  Check out this link on my sister's blog that talks about using a fine tip bottle for applying glue.  The rhinestones we used today did not have a sticky back so I brought my little fine tip glue bottle - works so well.  My bottle used to be filled with dimensional fabric paint made by Tulip, I think.  I used the paint to make decorative paper and filled the cleaned out, empty bottle with white glue.  Just a little dab will do you and it dries clear so if the glue expands a bit beyond the edge of the rhinestone it just disappears once the glue is dry.  I am willing to bet that in your stash of crafty supplies you have a bottle with a fine tip which you could use for this purpose!  If you don't, no worries, there are several glues out there made specifically for paper crafting that have fine tips so check out your local craft or scrapbooking store.


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - Folk art tree

I love this little folk art tree image!!  I found it on Laura`s blog called Pop N Stick.  She has several other cool digital images you can use for card making so check out her site!!  Here is a direct link to the tree.
I layered the tree to coloured cardstock, added a border punched strip and a  rectangle of decorative Christmas paper which I glued to a coordinating card front to make up this card.  I added a bit of ribbon to the decorative paper, sponged my eyelet edge, watercoloured my image and added this little greeting on my insert - Christmas is about what`s in your heart, not what`s under the tree. Wishing you a merry little Christmas!!
Making your own cards gives you so much flexibility!!  You can add your own little twists, use your favorite colour combinations and add meaningful greetings!!


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - Vintage look

Christmas cards with a bit of a vintage feel!!  These cards feature images from a font called Christmas Cheer which I downloaded from the internet last week.  You can find it here.  I used the JOY, PEACE, NOEL and the winter scene with the house for these cards.  In Corel Draw, I sized the images to fit nicely in my largest oval Nestibilities, laser printed them eight to a page and cut them out individually.  I sponged the edges of my oval, my card and my button and watercoloured my image. I added a black label frame die cut (SX) embossed with a victorian embossing folder and placed some vintage seam binding in between.  These were layered onto a card front which was stamped using my Worn background stamp (SU) in brown.   I added a button and a bow which is a new technique I picked up this week off of Nancy Ward`s blog - Paper Friendly.  You can find the tutorial on Vicki Wizniuk`s blog - Wizards Hangout.  Basically, you take a length of ribbon, cross the ends, bring the center of the loop to the cross over, insert it into a loop of twine on the back of the button, tighten and tie off with a double knot.  Check out the tutorial and you will see how easy it is!!  I used a chipboard button which I die cut from a cereal box which was just the right colour to go with this card and used black cotton crochet thread to tie off the bow.  We used glue dots to attach this embellishment to our card fronts.
It is fun to create Christmas cards in non traditional colours though this one is starting to be one of my favorite combinations.  Check out these cards and these ones we made last year.  Here`s a few more and some more made a few years ago.
Don`t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to colour combinations and images for Christmas cards.  One of the girls at class today said she would probably use these bird images for making a few Christmas cards.  I think they would make wonderful Christmas cards!!


Cards, Cards, Cards - Christmas - doilies

Christmas cards!!  We met this morning to create Christmas cards and get a head start on that process.  It always feels great to have your cards made and ready to go when December rolls around.
I have been loving the lovely cards I have seen on Splitcoast Stampers that feature the dainty Doily stamp from SU and really wanted to make a card with that lacy look!!  For this large class it means a lot of thermal embossing to get that look so I decided to see if I could find a digital solution.  Hooray!  I found one.  On the Avant Garde Collection CD (SU) there is a paper collection called Flirtatious and one of the papers is a large doily!!  I brought the image into Photo Shop Elements and replaced all of the white areas with transparent in a few clicks of the mouse following instructions from the internet.  I cannot seem to locate the exact tutorial I used but there are lots of different ones on how to do this.  I was also able to change the colour of the doily in PSE using the paint bucket so I created a white and red version to use on these Christmas cards!!    I imported the images into Corel Draw, duplicated them so I had four doilies and then  laid them out so they would each be off the page in each corner of a 8.5 x11 page.  I created a box of colour beneath the two white doilies to show them off nicely and added greetings.  Once I had them sized and positioned by eye I printed one page to see which circle punch I would need to create the centers.  I had to resize the doilies a bit so that the 1 3/8" punchies would leave a nice scalloped edge visible.  I printed these on white cardstock using a colour laser, cut them apart and trimmed them to 4" x 5.25".  I layered a coordinating circle punchie in the center of the doily, added a fiber snowflake and used a brad to attach them all together.  This element was glued to a coordinating card front.  I embellished the front with glitter glue to add just a bit of sparkle!!  I used iridescent for mine but some girls at class today used silver on the blue one and red on the red one and that really looked very nice!!  I expect a spritz of shimmer spray would be really great too!!
So I encourage you to find your newest Christmas stamp, a sketch you like,dig out some paper and get creative!!  If you prefer digital stamps check out the next few post for links to some I used for this class.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cardmaking - June - Feathered Friends

I love these bird images!!  They are available from The Graphics Fairy.  She has a wide variety of images, backgrounds and line art - simply a great resource for digital images.
I used four different images and added a quote to each one as well as a coloured border.  I have been playing around a bit more with combining digital elements so this was a fun experiement.  In the end, it made for a quick and easy card.  I printed the image on white cardstock and we simply embossed the lower half, added a ribbon and glued the whole thing to the front of a coordinating card!!  Too easy!!   To easy to add a greeting as well with a little piece of 3D foam tape.
I will be passing on the cardmaking baton to a friend of mine who will be taking over the Wednesday night classes in September.  She is excited to be on the other side of the table and has been brainstorming and designing kits for the fall.  I look forward to catching up with the group during the Christmas card classes on the first two weekend of November!!
I have so enjoyed this group and the opportunity to share cardmaking!!  I will miss the friendships I have built, but I do need to change my focus.  My craft room is part of the unfinished basement and the finishing process has begun so I need to be cleaning up, sorting and packing up my "stuff" so the job and be finished within a reasonable timeline.
I will still be around and posting to my blog regularly!!


Cardmaking - June - Transparency

I was playing around with a paint technique for a challenge and ended up making up several sheets in these two colours - pink/red and yellow/green.  I have seen many videos and tutorials where they use old credit card to apply paint but it is the first time I have tried it.  It works really well. If you been thinking you would like to try it I encourage you to give it a go!!
I printed Dover images on transparency to layer over my decorative paper and attached them to the card front using brads.  I added three little strips of embossed coordinating cardstock to the right hand side.  On the first one I used a corner rounder and am not terribly happy with the look - I think because the top one ended up round and looks like it doesn't go with the others.  So on my second one I decided to use a different technique and I am happier with that.  I also embossed the card front which helps add texure!!  The little felt flower was added last using a glue dot.
You can sign up with Dover to get emails regularly which highlight their collections and offer free samples.  Well, worth it for the free images they offer!!  Go here to sign up!!


Cardmaking - June - Fun Greetings

It is always fun to change things up, so for this card I combined the image and the greeting.  All of the images were downloaded from CLKER and I added some fun greetings using an appropriate font.  Some of the other ones were: "Heard you needed a pick up" with a little truck, "Best Fishes" with a cute little fish, "Be Happy" with a little bee, "Butterfly Wishes" with a butterfly, "Smile" with a camera, "You're Purrr- fect" with a cute kitten and "You're so sweet" with a little cupcake!
I cut the circle elements and the scalloped layers with my Nestibilities.  Started by adding a layer of decorative paper to the card front and a length of seam binding or ribbon.  Tied on a short piece with a single knot to simulate a bow and added my main layered element over it using 3D foam tape.
It is always good to have a few greeting cards on hand that you can send to friends and family for just for fun!!  These fit the bill perfectly!!


Cardmaking - June - Vintage

Our last Wednesday cardmaking session before the summer break!!  It is hot here!!  We were glad to have our cards made early and be off to cooler places!!
For our first card we made one with a bit of a vintage look!!  After not finding enough of what I needed for these card kits in my decorative paper bucket I decided to make up what I needed.  I started with brown paper that came in a box a few weeks ago wrapped around something "important".  I wrinkled it, opened it up and wrinkled it again and then started adding different colours of brown acrylic paint washes and then wrinkled it again.  Once it was dry I ran a dark brown ink pad over the wrinkles to highlight the texture.  Added a lighter colour to soften the dark one and I was happy with that.
I added a piece of my new decorative paper to my card front overlapping the section I had embossed.  I added a piece of paper lace - from way deep in my stash - being sure to only dab my glue stick on it so the holes would remain open.  I layered my collage element over a layer of kraft and mounted it over the end of the ribbon using 3D foam tape.  For a little more texture I added a small flower (TH) cut from corrugated cardboard and adhered it to the card front using a brad to which I had added a gold sequin - just a bit of bling!!   The images were all different and were cut from a 12 x12 page of scrapbooking paper.  I trimmed each image using my Fiskars stamp edger scissors.  Just the look I was wanting.


Father's Day card

Made this card for my DH for Father's Day.  I just received some grunge board elements as a prize from one of my groups and thought that the coffee cup one would work so popped out the pieces and painted them up with brown, tan and gold acrylic paint.  Once they were dry I reassembled the pieces and highlighted the cup with some clear dimensional paint.  I love the way it worked out.  The music background has been downloaded from Free Vintage Digital Stamps and colour printed.  I added some black twill and caramel seam binding and mounted my layered element over them using 3D foam tape.  Add a layered greeting with a bit of bling!!
He loves music and coffee so I thought this worked pretty well for him!!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thank you cards

Every new mother needs a few cards to acknowledge the blessings she receives from those around her when she bring a new baby into the world.  Oh, joy!!
I made these as a gift for my cousin and his partner who just had a baby in May.  Handmade cards are an appropriate gift for most every occasion.
I used plaid decorative paper on the top of these cards and overlapped the bottom edge with a rectangle of brown that has been border punched on both sides with the SU scallop border punch.  I added a blue ribbon and a star die cut attached with a white button brad.  I also added dots of white in each scallop with a white gel pen.  These fit in #8 envelopes.


Baby Card

 A new baby was born into the family in May and I am just getting to sending a card and gift.
This card was part of the All Occasion Class I taught earlier this month and I used green cardstock so it could be customized for a boy or a girl by just colouring the image appropriately.  I love this cute little buggy digital image which I downloaded from WP clipart.  I watercoloured the laser printed image, distressed the green layer and added it over the white seambinding using 3D foam tape.  I used the Swiss Dot embossing folder on the green background and mounted everything to a white card front.  The little colour printed greeting is punched on both ends with the SU eyelet border punch.
Babies are such a great way of starting people!!  Always worth celebrating a new addition!!


Sunday, June 10, 2012

More Panel Thank you cards!!

I made up more of these single layer panel cards with some of the digital papers available on the Avant Garde Collection CD from Stampin UP!! Love those graphic designs and the great colours!!  For some, I used the designs as the focal point and simply sized them in Corel Draw so I could just print and cut.  The center ones feature a paper with an all over design so I created coloured boxes to accent my text.  I can see combining several different papers in my next batch which brings me closer to the look of handmade cards!!  Maybe I will even add ribbons and buttons!!  Check out this link to see the other ones I created a while back.
Check out the collections in the new SU catalogue!!  The designs on the CDs can be used in other graphics programs such Corel Draw so I am looking forward to acquiring a few more collections!!


Friday, June 08, 2012

Another one!

Another pop twirl card!!  A completely different theme and I was able to get my twirling element to be hidden inside the card!!
The music background is from Free Vintage Digistamps which I colour printed and glued to my card front.  The other two digital images I found at Pure Clipart and at Clipart Monster Club.  I added DANCE using embellished letters.  I created these typewriter letters years ago which I laser printed and punched out using my 1/2" punch.  I watercoloured them and added Dimensional Magic to finish them off nicely. Once dry I used glue dots to attach them to my card front.  Added my coloured image with 3D foam tape which overlaps my white seam binding that features a simulated bow.   To simulate a bow, simply tie a short piece of seam binding with a single knot to the long piece that has been attached to the inside of the card.  It can easily be adjusted by sliding along the ribbon.
On the inside I added a bit of sponging and stamping and some handwritten words - "like no one is watching".  I cut out the little ballerina and sewed her a skirt using blue and shimmery white tulle!! I love how she turned out.  You can see a close up photo of her below.  I had to be careful not to trim her too close so I would have enough room to add my trimmed glue dots which attach her to the bamboo stick.  She is also watercoloured. I added tied ribbons to the ends of the stick to keep it from slipping through. She twirls beautifully!!
I made my pop ups a little less wide to accommodate the height of my ballerina and  if I were to create another one of these I would stick with the 1" ones as they are more sturdy and make a my card taller to fit all the elements.
I would highly recommend trying out this fun card!!  I expect it will take a little more postage to send but I think totally worth it for the fun and movement it provides.  So many possibilities!!

So now to decide which one to send to my swap partner!!


Pop up Twirl card

Joined a card swap where I had to create a pop up twirl card.  Unfortunately the swap was cancelled so I contacted one of the girls who had signed up and we are swapping One for One!!
You can check out the tutorial on Splitcoast Stampers.  It is not really complicated but does require precise cutting to get the mechanics to work.  It is really fun because the inside element pops and twirls!!  Check out the video at the bottom of the tutorial to see how cool it looks!!
You do need to use sturdy cardstock and the two full layers just  like the tutorial indicates because there is a fair amount of torque on the cardstock when the twirling is happening!!  Be sure to glue them together well.   I used strips of paper instead of buttons on the bamboo stick - just made a paper bead on the stick.  Saw this idea somewhere else on the internet and thought it would be a better option for a card that is going to be mailed.  My twirling element stuck out of my card so I added two border punched strips which worked out really well but it does
mean I will  have to mail it in a larger envelope.
I embossed the whole card front.  I have a  piece of cutting pad for my Big Shot which is the result of having broken a plate, which I use for embossing only parts of an embossing folder.  In this case, I embossed three quarters of the front using the embossing folder and then moved it over aligning the dots so I could emboss the remaining quarter.  Had I used a full plate one row of dots would have been squished by the flat edge of the embossing folder.  Instead I used my partial cutting plate and placed it on the embossing folder so it did not impact the edge of the embossing folder.  Magically, no flattened spots in the middle of my embossed card front.  So hang on to the pieces of your next broken cutting plate for using this way.  I added an embossed TH Ornmental Label die cut with white seambinding and a simulated bow.  I created the sunflower using this template and triangles created by cutting  1 3/4" squares diagonally.  I curled the ends with my scissors for a bit of dimension and added a bit of watercolour in the center.  The center is a brown scalloped circle (NS) embossed with dots and features a little lady bug I created using a red 1/2" punchie for the body and a black 1/4" black punchie for the head.  I added the spots with a black Sharpie marker and added clear dimensional paint for dimension and shine.  I hand cut the stem and leaves and watercoloured them a bit after I embossed them.
I am making one more of these to see if I can keep my twirling element inside the card!!


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

50th Anniversary Card

For a couple who are celebrating a milestone - 50 years of marriage!!  I chose to use gold coloured cardstock instead of a shiny gold finish to keep the card more subtle.  I colour printed the greeting on a light gold cardstock in a dark gold colour using a font called NOEL.  Love this font!!  It has such a handwritten feeling.  I added an embossed element above, which is two strips of the same cardstock punched with my eyelet border punch (SU), embossed with a flourish embossing folder (SX) and then scored with a line in between with a scoring tool (MS).  I added a bit of contrasting ink to highlight the texture before gluing it to the card front.  Added vintage seambinding over the joint and two hearts cut from a very light gold and a darker gold with the colours transposed - a great metaphor for marriage.  I tied a short piece of seambinding to the left of the hearts with a single knot to simulate bow.
Fifty years of marriage was rather rare when I was a child but is a more common event these days but I do not think that in any way diminishes the value of the accomplishment which is so worth celebrating!!


Saturday, June 02, 2012

Cardmaking - All Occasions - wedding & more

These were the last set of cards we made this morning!!  I always have a quick and easy card for the last one because everyone is getting antsy and ready to get on with their day.
I chose four images from WP Clipart - a wedding cake, a fern, a baby carriage and a bouquet of tulips which created cards appropriate for a wedding or anniversary, a masculine birthday or a sympathy card, the birth of a child and could be customized by colouring the carriage either blue or pink and a get well or spring birthday card.  An embossed background, a seambinding with a simulated bow and a layered image.  I did not add colour to the wedding cake leaving it until I actually use the card so I can customize it to the recipient.  I may consider simply adding some sparkle using a clear Sakura StarDust gel pen instead of adding any colour.
I do so enjoying sharing my enthusiasm for cardmaking with like minded people!!  It blesses so many people, me as I create the card kits and teach the class, the participants as they create the cards and add a bit of themselves as they do and the recipients of these lovely creations.  If the card is resused, it is a blessing yet one more time.  Thrifty Tip:  Use plain paper inserts on the inside of your cards and simply glue them with one little strip of glue on the inside front near the fold.  This allows the insert you have written on to be removed and replaced with a new one and the card reused!!  Here is a tutorial on making envelopes so you can send that refurbished card on its way!!


Cardmaking - All Occasion cards - Faux Pinwheel

These were fun to do!!  I regularly check out Splitcoast Stampers for cardmaking inspiration.  It is such a wonderful resource for any cardmaker - lots of eye candy!!   You can find a tutorial here and a video here!
I created a template (see below) to simplify creating the pinwheel by providing a center and indicating where all the corners needed to be.   I used 1.25" squares and the pinwheel is about 3.5" across.  Works best with contrasting coordinating papers - I used decorative paper for one set of squares and cardstock for the other.  The background was embossed and I added a layered laser printed greeting.  The layered greeting combines punchies from the SU window punch and their modern label punch.
It was fun to dig through my scraps of decorative paper and come up with some coordinating cardstock for the other set of squares and the background.  I mounted the pinwheel using 3D foam tape and then added the flower punchie in the middle which helps give this element some dimension.
One of the girls commented on how the pinwheel looks very much like a quilt design and she had a friend that would most appreciate one of these cards.  That is one of the benefits of making cards - you can make them to suit those who will be receiving them.
Give this a try!  It is easier than it looks!!  Consider doing one with scraps first to help you understand the process of placing the squares and gluing them to each other.


Cardmaking - All Occasion - cake & gifts

Another versatile sketch!!  I used digital images created my Michelle Perkett for this set of cards.  She has a variety of images and sentiments as well as an Etsy shop so check out her site!!
The decorative paper on this card is layered with coordinating cardstock.
Thrifty Tip:  use two small rectangles behind your decorative paper instead of a full piece. It will allow you to use smaller pieces (check your scrap bucket) as well as providing less weight to your card.
I embossed the top portion but today some embossed the whole front, some debossed the area instead of embossing and others chose to emboss the bottom half instead of the top - so many options.  The digital image is laser printed, coloured, layered and added to the card front using 3D foam tape.  It was fun to use different embossing folders for each card.  I also added some paper piercing below the decorative paper - adds a bit of texture.
Thrifty Tip : I use a push pin, a strip of plastic canvas and an old mouse pad as my paper piercing tools - works really well for creating evenly spaced holes.
These fun images would certainly be great embellished with some glitter so I may consider adding some before I send them on their way!!


Cardmaking - All Occasion - bon voyage!

Another great cardmaking class this morning!!  We were making All Occasion Cards this time so I ensured that each card was a bit different by using flexible sketches and a wide variety of colours!!  It is always fun to see the cards once the kits have been assembled at class as each person adds their own flair and creativity to the process.
I love the flexibility of this sketch!  I included anywhere from four to eight strips of cardstock to create the background and then encouraged the participants to consider different placements for their ribbon and greeting and they could even have created a portrait card with these elements.
The little strips were embossed and then glued to the background layer which was then adhered to the card front.  Once the ribbon placement was decided the ends were glued to the inside front of the card using double sided tape.  The greeting was coloured and layered then adhered over the ribbon using 3D foam tape.  The little cardstock diamonds provide a nice little embellishment on these cards!!
I love these little digital greetings which all include little images as well!!  They are from Melohheadz Illustratiing.  She is a prolific artist and has a wide variety of images - check out her site!!  Use the labels on the right hand side to help you find what you are looking for!!  Here are direct links to  Bon Voyage, Giving Thanks, HB Cupcake, Friendship is  images!!
I am finding myself using a lot of digital images lately.  They are always perfectly "stamped" cause they are printed, can be sized to fit your project, take no room to store, can be modified to any colour and if you save them carefully - in a folder with the name of the site in it - you can always find them!!  Lots of benefits!!