Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Masculine card with sponging

Another masculine card for my brother!!  He lives in northern BC and I am sure he regularly sees the Northern Lights.  I tried to make the sponging look like them but it was not as effective as I would have liked.  I laser printed the dog sled image (CLKER) on white cardstock, cut it to size and sponged on several colours of purple and blue using the torn edge of a piece of bond to create the layers on the background.  I added a black layer and adhered it to a white card front on which I had already printed the greeting.  I added some coordinating fiber and a layered snowflake accent.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Masculine birthday card

I have a few early January birthdays and so I am working on getting those out on time this year!! Here is the card I made for my nephew!!
I started with a beautiful stamped image of the light house which I received in a swap a while back and watercoloured it.  I added a layer of handmade paper which coordinated, some flag ended pieces of ribbon and sewed them all in place with black thread in my sewing machine.  I layered a colour printed greeting with red and attached it with 3D foam tape.
Really happy with how it turned out!!


Dragon scale necklace

A dragon scale necklace I created for my grand daughter for Christmas!!  She was reading a dragon book earlier this year and I thought she would enjoy a reminder of the experience.  I cut the scales out of shrink plastic, punched the holes and then coloured them with alcohol inks. I love the wonderful variations I was able to get.  I shrunk them with my heat gun and shaped them over a metal teaspoon (old to be used for crafts only) while they were hot!!  I attached them to a silver chain using split rings and attached a little heart charm on the back which I signed on the inside.
It turned out better than I imagined!!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Gift Card holders!!

On one of my groups I signed up for a gift card holder swap - perfect for those last minute gifts for those hard to buy for people!! This one's theme was snowflakes/snowmen and required that we use a toilet paper roll as the base.  This was a fun swap!!
I flattened the toilet paper rolls but they are really springy!!  Had I known, I would have flattened them a month ago when I set them aside.  I am pressing them now but that means they will be a day late starting their journey to my swap partner.
For the right hand one, I used a piece of decorative paper about six inches long and wide enough to cover the base.  I sewed brown fabric trim to the bottom which in the process created the bottom of my holder.  I added a couple of snowflake punchies to a embossed handmade paper snowman paper cast using a brown brad. I used hot glue to adhere this dimensional element to the front of the holder.  I cut a tag that fit inside the holder from blue textured cardstock and sewed the same brown fabric trim to the top of it.  I have the tag out a bit on the photo - properly seated, the fabric embellishment tucks perfectly to the top of the holder.  I added a length of double sided tape to the tag so the gift card can be adhered to the tag and then inserted out of sight into the holder.
For the left hand one, I used a piece of decorative paper about 6" long and a bit wider to cover the base.  I used a label punch (SU) to punch a shape from coordinating paper and finished it off with a colour printed greeting punchie and several small snowflake punchies adhered with silver mini brads.  I adhered this element to the front using hot glue.  I created a coordinating cardstock tag for the inside, added a teal label punchie to the corner rounded top edge and punched a hole in which I threaded some white seam binding.  Really happy with the look of both of my gift card holders and it is a bonus that the base is reused!!
Hope you are well on your way to being ready for Christmas!!  We are here!!  The real tree comes in tomorrow to thaw and will be decorated on Wednesday!!  That is when the season starts for us!!  If you are not ready for Christmas, be kind to yourself and let go of as many things as you can so you can enjoy the season!!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hostess Gift - pancake syrup

I am just getting ready some hostess gifts for the upcoming holiday season!!   I made up several of these little jars of high bush cranberry pancake syrup in the early fall and put them in the freezer.  We are invited out to a neighbour's for tea this afternoon and I decided to dress this one up to take along.
I cut a 4+ inch scallop circle (SU) out of glitter felt and tied it onto the top of the jar using white cording.  I added a scalloped tag which I colour printed and then punched out using the SU scallop punch.  I printed a full sheet of these tags and added the date by hand with a red gel pen so that I can use them in the future.
This pancake syrup is made from cranberries which I picked locally.  My Mom and Dad have been picking the wild variety for years to make syrup. Mine is a little darker than theirs but the taste is very close to the same. My favorite is to have it on crepes (french pancakes) with a little bit of cream.  We will be treating ourselves over the holidays!!


Friday, December 13, 2013

My little book pendant!

Here is a close up of my little book pendant!!  I added a heart charm to mine because hearts are my favorite thing!!  It was fun to create little danglies for each one of them!!

You check here to see the details of how these little book pendants were made!!


Book pendants

I am involved in a 12 Days of Christmas giftie swap on one of my groups and decided to create little book pendants for each of my swap partners!  I have been wanting to make some of these for quite some time and finally decided that now was the time.  I did quite a bit of internet research to see what others were doing and finally settled on making a real book - covers with a spine with accordion pages bound into it.  Here you can see the beginnings of my cover.  Two squares and a long rectangle for my spine of light weight chipboard laying on my handmade decorative paper.
Here you can see the chipboard pieces covered with the decorative paper (faux leather) and an extra strip added in the middle over the spine to create a bit of interest in the final book design.  I glued these pieces down with glue stick and pressed them to make sure every thing was well adhered.

After I had made all the covers and they had been pressed over night I added a 1/8" eyelet in a coordinating colour at the top of the spine.  This will be used to attach the book to the string using a jump ring.

Next I created all the accordion folded pages for the books.  I measured the inside dimension of my cover and cut the strips appropriately and folded them using mountain and valley folds.  I glued two strips together to made enough pages to fit in each book. I see that I have my cover sitting up side down in the photo.  The eyelet should be at the top!!

Here are all the pieces I needed to finish up the books.  I used a small piece of plastic canvas to bind my pages into a signature using coordinating thread to bind them.  I used a fairly slim needle and regular sewing thread (doubled) to sew my pages.

Here is a close up of how I bound the pages to the canvas.  I drew the thread up through a hole in the canvas, went across one of the valley folds and down through a hole on the other side.  Up again, through the same hole in the canvas and across the next valley fold and down the same hole on the other side.  There were three holes across the canvas so I just distributed the valley folds among them.  Once the pages were bound to the canvas, I added a jump ring to the eyelet and hot glued the signature into the cover.   I added the tie - a short piece of string and a bead to the covers and glued my end pages to the inside covers.  That completed the books.  I added a few danglies - a key and beaded charm to each of them to give them some character and make them unique!!
Here is a photo of all little book pendants I made!!!

They were really fun to make though a bit time consuming as I was inventing them as I was going along!!  I really enjoyed making them all different and using some of my hand decorated paper which made them unique!!  I am really glad I added some colour to the spines because that makes them look more like real books.
The recipients will be able to add to them any thing they wish - a favorite quote, a current affirmation, a poem they have written or even small photos or artwork to make them their own!!

We start our gift opening today!!  I had Day 1, so by now everyone will have opened their little gifts from me.

I made a few extras so will be having a give way!!
Check out this blog post for the details!!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gifts of Imperfection - Gratitude

I am a bit behind in my Brene Brown course - The Gifts of Imperfection!!  Here is my double page spread on gratitude!!  We had to take pictures of everyday things that brought us joy!!  It is should a good way to remind us of the joy there is in every single day!!  I simply printed my photos and wrote on my page the joy I received!!
We did learn that gratitude brings us joy so it is vital to practice gratitude every day to keep ourselves in the joyful flow of life.  Our acknowledgement of our blessings keeps them coming!
Brene referred to her little moments of joy as twinkling lights and I just loved that analogy!!
As Christmas draws near there are so many more twinkling lights in our world - let them remind you of your everyday moments of joy!!


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Birthday card for Dad

This card is for my Dad whose birthday is today!!  I will see him tomorrow!!  So glad to be close enough to participate in the celebration!!
I started with a white card front and added the black layer that had been stamped in white with a love definition background (SU). I also trimmed it on the right hand side with a border punch and added a piece of dark blue seam binding over the edge of the writing.  I tied a shorter piece to the long piece with a single knot to simulate a bow.  I added the layered train image, a length of blue cardstock that was trimmed with pinking shears which I tucked under the seam binding and added a colour printed greeting using 3D foam tape.  I like the way that the pinked border echoes the border punched edge.  A fairly quick and easy card!!


Friday, November 29, 2013

Gifts of Imperfection - choosing comfort

Working on my art journaling for my Brene Brown ECourse - The Gifts of Imperfection!!  I have used a fine tip black sharpie to create my letters - both using negative space and positive space.  I watercoloured the title with orange - not a "go to" colour for me. It has been super fun to see what I can create and not feeling that it has be perfect.  In this exercise we need to discover what drives us to numbing - taking the edge off the pain!!!
For this title I used a large marker and just wrote the letters free hand!!  Too easy!! I stamped over it in blue ink using a stamp I created using leftover rubber from trimming some stamp sets. I cut the scraps into small pieces and glued them to a small block of wood.   I love the randomness of this stamp!!  Needless to say, it is beneficial for all of us to know what our "go to"s are when we feel pain or stress - food, drugs, gambling, acting out, rage, shopping, etc, etc, etc.

For this title, I created the letters using a pencil, traced them with my fine tip sharpie and filled them in!!  I love the way they turned out.  I have been using my Creative Lettering book by Jenny Doh as inspiration for all of these hand lettered titles.  Comfort Wisdom is about learning what calms and comforts you and choosing that instead of numbing.  It is about consciously choosing your thoughts, words and deeds in order to create the life you want to live.
You can check out my previous pages here, here, here, here, here and here.
You should give hand lettering a try!  There are so many techniques out there that can be executed with a minimal amount of supplies - pen and paper in most cases!!


Kid's Christmas card

Made this card for a little boy who will be having a special Christmas this year!!  You can check out his story here on Susan's blog - Simplicity!
He likes bright colours so I started with a yellow card front, added a layer of blue glittery handmade decorative paper onto which I layered a hand cut Christmas tree made from green paste paper which is embellished with a gold glitter glue garland and red glitter glue ornaments.  Added a yellow punchie star, a little piece of brown cardstock for a trunk and a red hand stamped greeting!!  Love the way it turned out!!
RAKs are so part of the spirit of this season!!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

One Sheet Wonder Christmas cards!

Here are the seven sets of Christmas cards I created using the One Sheet Wonder technique
- a total of 35 cards in all!!
I have blogged the details here, here and here.  
I thought you would like to see all the cards together 
that were created using the same OSW paper.  
You can check the bottom of this posting to find the One Sheet Wonder cutting 
template I used for these cards.  


OSW - Christmas - two rectangles - 5" x 1 7/8"

Here are the cards I made with my two 5" x 1 7/8" pieces of OSW.  I cut them in half and then diagonally to create four corners, being careful to cut the diagonals opposite each other so the corners would create the central diamond.  You could cut them into any configurations you wish.
 I cut a coordinating layer for mounting the triangles to and in some cases, I embossed the backing layer and for others I glued on the corner triangles and then embossed this layer.  I like the fully embossed layers better.
I created the central elements using downloaded images combined with greetings which I laser printed and then cut apart using an oval Nestibilities.   The images were all downloaded from CLKER.  Once cut, I watercoloured the images and then added some sort of embellishment - seam binding, ribbon, bakers twine, etc.  A couple of them have a small metal ring which was a spiral clip which I cut in two because it was too large in its original size.  The ovals were added to the card fronts using 3D foam tape.
Click on the images to see the details!!
You can see all the cards made with this One Sheet Wonder technique in this post!


OSW - Christmas - 3.75" x 3.5"

Each sheet of OSW yielded one rectangle that measured 3.75" x 3.5" which I cut into four uneven rectangles.  It could certainly be cut into even rectangles, strips, triangles or multiple cuts as you wish.  Each would have it own charm!!  I mounted all of them onto coordinating cardstock though I did change the card orientation as well as the position of the rectangles as I went along.  I did add embossing to some of the layers, some punchies, colour printed greetings along with stitching, staples and seambinding and thread.   Lots of fun and it helps to break up the monotony of making all the cards exactly the same.   Click on the image to see the details close up!!


OSW Christmas - two strips - 1.75" x 4.25"

Christmas cards!!  I am close to having as many as I need for this year!!

I found several sheets 8.5" x 5.5" of One Sheet Wonder decorative paper in my stash and decided to make some cards using them. You can click here here, here and here to see some of my previous OSW cards created with stamped decorative paper.

 Here and here are some made with printed decorative paper instead which makes them really fast and easy!!
You can find all the cards and the OSW cutting template here.

These cards all started with strips of OSW decorative paper that were 4.25" x 1.75" which I cut into four sections.  I chose to cut them into uneven geometric shapes but you could certainly cut them into rectangles, squares or strips instead.  I cut a layer slightly larger in a coordinating colour to back them.

 I colour printed greetings that coordinated, mounted and embellished them in a variety of ways adding ribbon or seam binding.  I added some small snowflake punchies and rhinstones as well and stitched a few with my sewing machine.
I used my border punch (MS) to embellish the tags as well as the coloured layer in several of the cards. 
Click the images to get a better look!!

I find it hard to make lots of the very same!!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

JOY Christmas cards

 A few more Christmas cards!!  I started with the half trees that were left over from cutting out trees for these fabric collage cards and stitched the eight half trees into four whole trees by zigzagging them together down the middle.  I added a zigzag garland in red and then used straight stitch to attach gold sequins over the garland.  I was looking for a cool but subtle background paper for them in my stash and eventually resorted to creating my own using*" leftover paint paper".  I added some music notes (SU) at the top and bottom and a script (IO) in between in a beige coloured ink.  To give it all a bit of a collage look I stamped a portion of a collage stamp in the upper left hand corner - just enough to get a bit of colour up there.  Really happy with the way the background paper turned out!!  I stitched my trees to the background paper using green thread and then added a gold sequin with a gold brad to top the trees. I used a sharpie marker and scribbled in a trunk.  I stitched this element to my red card front on my sewing machine using beige thread.  That really worked out well!!
I added JOY in little red punched out letters.  My daughter had this punch set - one handle along with 30 or so little punch inserts - she was liquidating from a lot she purchased a while back.  They were the perfect size for this card!!  I will be hanging on to this set!!
 I love my little imperfect fabric trees on these lovely subtle backgrounds and the perfectly beautiful little red JOY!

*What is "leftover paint paper"??  I always apply any leftover paint from any project to paper - either clean white paper, the insides of bags or papers, junk mail or newspaper or any other sheet of left over paper I happen to have on hand.  This particular one was created when I was painting trim in our last house.  I just brushed out onto the paper as much paint as I could from my brush then cleaned up the brush.   I keep adding paint to the papers until I am happy with them and then they get incorporated into art.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Gifts of Imperfection - Self compassion

 Here are my journal pages for Week 3 of my Brene Brown on line Ecourse!!  I am two weeks behind but so be it!!  This week we had to find photos of times in our lives or experiences when we were hard on ourselves.  We will now show our selves compassion and whisper to our former selves (which are still inside us) what we needed to hear then.
I started this page by adding my photos and then the wording in two fonts that seemed to go with the words and laser printed the page.  I added
colour using pencil crayons.  Not my usual medium but that's what seemed to be calling me today.  I added frames around the photos and created a heart.  I added little scalloped circles to which I will add my compassionate whispers.  I created another page to record the compassionate whispers that I need to hear as I move forward.  I used my Creative Lettering book as inspiration and hand lettered the title and the definition along with some doodly lines to keep things organized using a fine tipped Sharpie. I coloured inside and between the letters with the same pencil crayons I used on my first page.  I love the little heart at the end of "whispers".
I am really enjoying the art journalling part of this class!


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Birdie Tag Calendar

On one of my groups I have joined a tag calendar swap so I created this calendar for my swap partner!
I have used birdie artwork that I created in 2009 for a 2010 calendar which simply never happened!!  I have been storing this artwork in a file folder since then.
Recently, my sister Sylvia was over and she suggested using them for a 4" x 6" calendar because they were square - they would work perfectly.  She photographed them and created the calendar. It turned out wonderfully!!! You can check it out here.  (third down)  She has been making 4"x 6" photo calendars for several years now with her own photographs.  She has two new ones for 2014 - Garden and Nature. They are the first two on her calendar page.

 I created the little collages after I finished these birdie ATCs.  I started with squares of cardstock, layered on torn papers for the backgrounds adding watercolour and sponging as needed.  Added my little birdies with their wire tails and embellished each appropriately for the twelve months.

With the artwork already created it only took a few days to get this calendar ready to go.  I cut six tags - 8.5" x 4" - from black cardstock, stamped them with background stamps - one definition and the other script (SU) using white pigment ink - one on the fronts, the other on the backs.  I downloaded a 2014 calendar off the internet (12 months on one page), laser printed it and cut apart the months.  

  I glued the calendars on the bottom portion of the tags, added the birdie artwork above them then stitched on a length of white ribbon using black thread on my sewing machine.  I added some little black diamonds (squares) over the stitching, added yellow circles above that and punched holes for hanging the pages.

The tags are double sided with Jan to June on one side and July to August on the other side.  I alternated the backgrounds to create a bit of contrast month to month.
The pages can be stacked and hung on a pin or nail.
 Alternately, they can be clipped together using a small bull clip and hung or attached to a metal surface using a magnet.  They could also be tied together using a loop of string which allows it to be hung.  At the beginning of each month the old month page can simply be flipped to the back along the loop.  This method secures all the pages to each other and avoids losing any!!
I will be creating another set of collages for next year's calendar!  I am considering using houses, hearts, flowers or quotes as my next theme!!  So many possibilities!!

This has be a very fun experience.  It has been really cool to see my art on a 4"x 6" calendar and I am really looking forward to creating some collages for next year!!