Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Serendipity squares - Christmas

The second card I made was a Christmas one which features four serendipity squares layered onto gold cardstock, a bird image from Meljens Designs which I coloured in with pencil crayons and layered in red and green and a stamped greeting all layered over an embossed card front.
Had a fun afternoon!!


Serendipity squares card

I had a young friend/cardmaker over today for a play date!!  I made a couple of cards and she managed one and brought home the pieces she had picked out for her second one because we decided to spend some time at the park instead.  I love the way kids are so free to just do art!!
In the process of cleaning a shelf in my craft room I came across several pieces of serendipity collage so I trimmed them down into 1.25" squares to use as the focal points on our cards today.  I cut out some coordinating squares for layering, put out some images and greetings and a few items for embellishing like the border punched accents on this card - like a little smorg for creativity.
This is a quick and easy card.  I layered the serendipity elements on coordinating squares and framed them off with some bordered punched paper lace.  I layered a strip of coordinating card stock below the paper lace to "colour" the flowers and used a glitter gel pen to highlight the center of the flowers and the doily border.
So I encourage you plan a play date with a young card maker and have some fun!!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Christmas card - O Holy Night

I just love Splitcoast Stampers for the wonderful inspiration it provides for all card makers - me in particular!!  I have seen several cards using a wonderful nativity stamp so I challenged myself to create something similar with digital images.  I started with the Mary, Joseph and baby image from Two Heart Designs and added a stable which I drew in Corel Draw around the figures.  I drew the star and added it to the stable.  I am happy with the way it turned out!!  I layered my digital image over some digital sheet music which I downloaded from Free Vintage Digital Stamps and modified with Photoshop Elements to this earthy taupe colour.  I added O Holy Night in a bold font, colour printed four to a sheet, trimmed them apart and then tore the edges to create this wonderful rustic layer for my card.  I simply added a length of black ribbon between the two elements and tied a short piece to it using a single knot to simulate a bow!!  Voila!  A quick and easy card!!  
I hope you will be inspired to make a few Christmas cards every month from now until the end of November!!  Have fun!!


Christmas card - Joy!

This card features some really nice decorative paper!!  To let the paper shine I added a simple colour printed image over the paper and a simple cardstock layer below it.  For a bit of bling I used a glitter gel pen on the greeting.
My inspiration for this card was one of a series of cards I found on Splitcoast Stampers.  The series was developed by Gisele for creating 16 cards using one piece of 12 x12 decorative paper.  The paper she used was perfectly suited for this "One sheet Wonder" technique.  You can check out all of the cards in the series on her blog, I  SPI.  Here is another set of cards she created!!
There are so many reasons for creating Christmas cards early - one of them is to get a chance to play with all that wonderful Christmas paper we have in our stashes and come up with cards that highlight them in the best possible way!!  Enjoy!


Christmas card - snowman

I found this card on Splitcoast Stampers that featured a snowman face and thought it was so effective that I thought I would see what I could come up with.  I created a frame and some masks to get the look I was going for using this digital image from Rusty Pickle - Silly Shells Digital Creations!!  I am pretty happy with the way it turned out!!  I laser printed the image, watercoloured it, added some glitter to the hat and nose and trimmed it leaving a bit of a white border.  I layered decorative paper onto my card front, added two large embossed rick rack die cuts, added my image layered onto orange using 3D foam tape and added a layered snowflake embellishment.
I really love this decorative paper and am very close to the end of my supply!!  I used it here, here and here!


Christmas card - Believe

When I was delivering kits from my last Christmas card class I had a friend ask for a set of kits, so this week I set about making up another set of Christmas cards for her!!
I love this image with the baby Jesus and Santa!!  I downloaded it from Melonheadz Illustrations along with the greeting which I modified to suit the image.  I laser printed the image and greeting, watercoloured both of them, layered them on red, stapled on two lengths of seam binding and glued the whole piece to a green card front.  Lots of wonderful digital images over at Nikki's blog so go and check it out!!
Great time to start on your Christmas cards!!  It really is wonderful to have them all made and ready to go come the end of November!!  If you need inspiration or direction you can check out the links to the Christmas challenge blogs I have on my blog - right hand side!!  My sister is running one this year - check it out here!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Steam punk cards

I made a couple of cards using the film strip art I created last week.  I challenged myself to create a digital collage with a bit of a steam punk feel to go with it.  I used images downloaded from Dover.  I am on their email list and they regularly send links to free samples from the many excellent books they publish.  Follow the link and sign up!!
I created clear backgrounds using Photoshop Elements for the man, the train, the airship and the border.  I layered them over two different floral backgrounds and colour printed them.  I trimmed my film strip to fit across the card, double knotted a piece of black vintage seam binding on the right and tied on a little metal star embellishment.
These are considered hybrid projects because they combine digital art with some hands on paper crafting!!  I am liking combining the two!!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Film strip art

Had a couple of days of crafty fun with my friend, Linda, last week.  We had lunch and a play date with a friend and made some great film strip art!!  We cut the film strip using  the TH die and black cardstock then stamped several small images from collage type stamps to place in behind with black Staz ON.   I coloured mine with Pan Pastels, trimmed the images to fit in the openings and then glued them into place.  Once I was finished I spritzed the whole thing with a glimmer mist which sealed my pastels as well as gave the whole thing some shimmer.  We had a great afternoon and I was blessed to spend it with such talented women.
Linda is taking an online card class so some time was spent working on cards.  Check out her blog and see the cool cards she made.
She is a great cook so the food is always wonderful when I am there.  So all it all it was a great visit!!
Be sure to make some time over the summer to get together with your friends - do something fun, eat some good food and make some memories!!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Embossed metal frame

I created this metallic frame for a friend who is relocating - it will be a good place to put a photo of her artsy friends!!
I started with a square wood frame and glued textured items to it - die cut chipboard letters, corrugated cardboard flowers, twine swirls, mesh tape and punchies.  I used double sided tape to attach all the elements except the mesh tape with is self adhesive.  Next, I covered all the front and the inside and outside edges with metal foil tape.  Yes, the kind you buy at the hardware store!!  I simply cut it into pieces and just started layering it on. Check out the photo below which I took as I was in the process of applying tape.   As you can see it doesn't matter what your pieces look like because they will all be covered and you will only see their shape and texture.
Once it was all covered I used a stylus to burnish around all the elements which added definition to the metal. I trimmed the metal tape to the back edge of the frame with an exacto knife and burnished the inside and outside edges with a wooden popsicle stick.  Once everything was burnished to my satisfaction I added yet more texture by scribing swirls, squiggly lines and dots along some of the tape edges.  Then, it was time to cover it all with black acrylic paint.  I wiped some of it off to reveal the texture I had created in the tape.  On hind sight, I might have left on more black to create a bit more contrast but I am happy with how it looks. I lightly sanded the letters to make sure they stood out and added a bit of silver and gold Perfect Pearls in a few areas.  I painted the back with black acrylic paint as well and sealed it front and back with a clear spray sealer so nothing would rub off.
Here are a few tutorials I used for inspiration:
I can see using this technique to make decorative paper for masculine cards and other projects where you want a bit of an industrial look!!


Saturday, July 07, 2012

Card of Appreciation

I created this card for DH.  One of his choir members is moving on and he wanted a nice card to give her.  I went for subtly beautiful with lots of texture and muted colour.  I love the way it turned out!  I used a large pearly white envelope and created a white card that fit inside.  I layered on a piece of shimmer paper which I embossed at the top and bottom.  In between I scored a couple of lines right next to both embossed edges with my score tool and added a piece of white lace in between then sponged the edges just a bit before I glued it to the card front.  I laser printed this blossom image I downloaded from  Beccy's blog, watercoloured it, layered it onto a border punched layer, added some half pearls and attached it to the card front using 3D foam tape.  As a final touch I watercoloured a flower confetti, added a white brad in the center and glued it to the corner of the top layer.
She has been an invaluable part of the choir and will be missed!  We wish her well in her new pursuits!!


Friday, July 06, 2012

African themed card

On AFTCM, I joined an African themed card swap.  After a bit of brainstorming I came up with a sketch from which I created this card.  I applied strips of black and gold lame fabric around the edges of my card using double sided tape.  The fabric is bold and graphic - perfect of my African theme.  Inside this frame I created an gold embossed element which highlights the poem, Dawn of Tomorrow, by Chidi A Okoye about the arrival of a new day for Africa.  I used an embossing pen to sketch the elements and gold embossed them as I went - the border, the inside frame, the zigzag border and finally the heart.  I trimmed out the center of the heart and used bleach in a pointed nib to write the poem on the card front so it would show through the open heart.  I added clear plastic and some 3D foam tape to the back of the heart, added some gold micro beads on the card front and glued my heart element down encapsulating the beads creating a shaker element.  I added a piece of gros grain ribbon tied with a little gold coloured heart charm which adds some texture and a bit more dimension to my card.  There are several different colours of gold which provides richness and symbolizes the riches of Africa.
I enjoyed creating my own element for this card and playing with lines and gold embossing powder!!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Memory Glass pendant

On AFTCM, I signed up for a 1x3 glass pendant swap which I have been working off and on for the last few days.  Having never soldered before I did a bit of research to find some instructions and information.  Discovered that jewelery should be soldered with lead free solder  - a no brainer but I had not considered that when I signed up for the swap.  So as an alternative, I started searching for the Ranger Memory glass frames which hold the slides.  Was not able to find any locally so I needed to find a different way.  Someone on the list suggested that most solder is now lead free so I did a search on the Canadian Tire website and lo and behold they do have a variety of lead free solder so off I went and bought a roll.  I am a happy camper!!  I created a collage sheet using images from Graphics Fairy for the inside of my pendant - background paper, butterfly, script, flourish and a scroll border.  I delved deep into my Photoshop Element skills and developed some new ones on my way to making all these elements suitable for my collage.  I made a yellow butterfly from the blue one, gave them all transparent backgrounds and changed the colour of several of them.  I found lots of helpful information on line for doing what needed to be done but I did have to stretch my PSE muscles and follow the instructions CAREFULLY.  What a great resource the internet really is!!!
So my pendant is finished!! The front and back are similar which means you can wear with on either side and the charms flip over from back to front.  I cut a strip off of my laser printed collage sheet and cut two 1x3 pieces for the inside.  Glued them back to back with only a LITTLE dab of glue because moisture between the two glasses combined with the heat from the soldering causes steam which could ruin the look.  I applied copper foil tape (1/4") all the way around being sure to center the glass/collage sandwich and then burnished all the copper tape with a wood burnisher ( popsicle stick).  Then, I started soldering with DH's variable temperature soldering iron (600F) following directions I found on line.  Here is a link to a video on Stampington that was useful as well. Worked out pretty well.  Adding the jump ring was a real challenge.  I ended up adding solder to the wire and then creating the jump rings which worked better.  Not a bad job of soldering for my second soldering project.  I created a prototype with the other solder just to see if I could do it.  I sanded off any little bumps and nibs, cleaned the glass and polished up the whole thing.  This morning I added a little butterfly charm and a few beads with a jump ring, tied on a length of white seam binding and added an adjustable waxed cord.
I love joining swaps and challenging myself to learn new techniques!!