Monday, February 25, 2013

Handmade paper journal covers

 We made our journal covers on Friday and they have been pressing all weekend!!
We started with two sheets of handmade paper - 8.5" x 11".  Folded each to half the size by folding both edges to the middle  - see top  photo - to create 5.5" x 8.5" covers.  We embellished them with some black embossed strips of cardstock which we folded in half.  We glued half to the front and back of each cover at the top and the bottom.  This added some colour, texture and rigidity to each cover.  It also strengthened the top which was die cut for binding with a plastic Ceralox comb and will help the bottom corners wear well as this journal is used over the course of four years .  As you can see they were also cut with decorative scissor on each edge.  I used pinking shears and embossed all of mine using the same embossing folder.  Each student did their own thing so there is quite a variety of interesting covers!!
Here is a shot of both covers on the other side.  Students will get to choose which sides they will use to be the outside of their journals.

We will be adding our metal embellishments later this week.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Metal embellishment for journal

Yesterday, we created our main decorative elements for our journals.  I made available to the students a wide variety of elements - die cuts ( butterflies, bees, trees, birds, etc) and chipboard letters along with a wide variety of punchies (stars, circles, butterflies, flowers, etc) along with some pieces of mesh (window screening).  They went through the elements, picked what they wanted and collaged them to a scrap piece of cardstock - 4 x 5.5.  These elements provide the texture for the embellishment so it doesn't matter what colour they are or what they are cut from.  After gluing everything in place we covered the surface in metal duct tape - two pieces with a seam down the middle.  As we applied the tape we took the time to rub all the areas of the piece to help reveal all the glued down elements.  Then, we used a dull pencil to follow the contour of each piece to highlight it and really start creating texture.  It was then time to add texture to all the flat areas by simply drawing with the pencil using some pressure to indent the metal tape.  We added lines, squiggles, shapes, cross hatching - just a lot of doodling and also impressed some areas of the mesh to create even more detailed texture within those areas.   You can see that I was able to add details to the bee by just outlining the different areas.  Once they were happy with all their doodling we covered the whole surface using a black permanent marker.  Then, we used a paper towel and some elbow grease to remove as much colour as we wanted from the surface.  The colour remains in the nooks and crannies of the piece to provide some great contrast and create some depth.  Lots of fun!!!  I die cut mine with the TH Ornamental die but some have chosen to keep the rectangle shape.
You can piece the metal tape for a more rustic and industrial look like I did when I created this frame.  You can use a variety of inks and paints for colouring the recesses and it doesn't have to be black - any colour will give you a really different look.


Envelope for our journals

I let each student pick out a coloured envelope which we reinforced very decoratively with this cool lettered packing tape.  The top of the envelope will be die cut for our binding so reinforcing it was necessary.  The journals will have room for writing a line a day for four years so the elements need to be rugged enough to last for that long.
Envelopes are always handy in any journal for storing any little thing you want to keep - ticket stubs, photos, etc.


Decorative paper

 Created decorative paper in my class with the same group of young people I created handmade paper with a few weeks ago.  This is a quick and easy technique for making decorative paper.
We used coated paper 28 lb bond paper, watercolours and plastic wrap!!  We started with a letter sized piece of paper, covered it with water using a foam brush, added several colours of watercolour over that and while everything was still wet we covered the whole surface with a piece of plastic wrap which we manipulated with our fingers to create a lot of wrinkles.  It is best not to mix the colours too much and to have enough paint to give you vibrant colours in your finished paper.  The larger sheets were trimmed to yield two 5" x 8" sheets which we will use in the "Line a Day" journals we are creating!!
I have used this technique very successfully with acrylic inks and acrylic paints as well.  You can pretty much use what you have.  Have also used a variety of papers - watercolour paper, cardstock and bond - again, use what you have.


All Occasion cards

Had a get together with cardmaking friends this week and I made these card kits for us to create with.
The top layer was punched with my new Fiskars Slot border punch which works just dandy for adding ribbon to a card!!  I used a length of ribbon and ran it through the slots and glued the ends to the back.  I tied a shorter piece to the front to simulate a bow.  The bottom of this piece was also punched with a border punch - SU Eyelet punch.
The little squares were created using a serendipity technique and then layered onto coordinating cardstock.  Both of these were layered over some decorative paper on my card fronts.  The top card has gift wrap and the bottom card is a piece that was created using a wax resist technique.
I love making serendipity paper with scraps!!  Always very unique and artsy looking!!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Postcard challenge

On one of the Cloth Paper Scissors blogs I found the link to a Postcard Challenge by Jane Davies and being as I was in postcard making mode I decided to sent one along to Jane in support of her post office!!
I used a piece of junk mail that I saved because it was so beautiful - this leaf image!!  I added the quote using a black sharpie marker and attached to the same postcard backer as the previous postcard I made.  
So if you are feeling creative and looking for a project why not send Jane a postcard!!  Follow the link above for more information!!


Past and Present Postcard

On one of my groups I joined a swap where I had to make a postcard with the theme of Past and Present.  It called to mind the quote that goes something like - Today is a gift and that is why it is called The Present.  I cut a postcard sized piece of decorative paper which I spritz with olive green alcohol mist a while back in the process of making Christmas cards.  It did not suit my vision then but worked well for this project.  I joined the dots in a rectangular shape to create a gift and left 24 lines to write on - one for each hour of a day - using a red sharpie marker.  I added a bow and stippling as well to give it a bit of dimension.  I used a black sharpie to add some thoughts on the gift we are freely given every twenty four hours!!  Below I addressed the past - keep only what sustains you!!  The past is over and it is only worth hanging on to the good stuff - the lessons learned, the great memories, etc.  Above is the future - keep in mind what you want and stay open to all possibilities because it doesn't really matter how what you want shows up!!   I sponged the edges and added a bit of stippling with the black sharpie around the edges.  I mounted this to a postcard backer which I got from Graphics Fairy.
We create our the content of our lives using our thoughts, our words and our actions which are all choices we make every day.  Being grateful for our many blessings   like our every day gift of The Present - makes us happier beings!!  Celebrate today, every little thing you  have been blessed with!!


Thinking of you & sympathy

I made this card up from a card kit that had lost its instructions. I love the technique - stamp in white pigment ink on black cardstock and then colour it with pencil crayons!!  Love the look!!  I added a greeting from my stash and layered it with a coordinating coloured cardstock.
Made this card for a friend who lost one of her friends this week.  It is never easy when friends pass away!!  We were all cardmakers and shared that activity often.
Here is the card I made for the husband and family from another kit that had lost its instructions.  I coloured the image, glued the decorative paper to the card front, tied on a piece of fiber and added a layered greeting.

Having kits on hand makes getting cards made really quick and easy!!

My sister has been preparing READY TO GO card kits for the last year and is finding that there are many people who feel the same.  Check out her blog and her All Occasion card kits here and her Christmas card kits here.
Take care of your friends!


Race car birthday card

 Hey!  When you are four you think race cars are just awesome!!  My oldest grandson turns four next week and his Mom is making him a race car birthday - invitations, decorations and cake!!  So I made him a race car card!!
I downloaded the graphic from CLKER and colour printed it on white cardstock along with the greeting.   I trimmed this element very closely around the bottom of the car and leaving a box at the top around the greeting.  I added a tag with a silver #4 and tied it on with some black and white bakers twine.  I added the stitching to the box because it needed "just a bit of something"!!  I embossed the card front using a TH embossing folder that has checks and some distressing which works really well with the car!!!  His little brother is turning one three days earlier so all the gifts and card were sent on their way for the party next weekend!!  His card is here!  Needless to say there is at least one little red race car in that box!!


Friday, February 08, 2013

Handmade paper - large sheets

In this week's papermaking class we made small embossed handmade paper sheets.  All well and good but a bit boring until you see them dry.  So I brought yellow, blue and teal paper napkin to add colour along with snippets of each colour so the sheets would have interest.  After class I combined the leftover pulps and created a few sheets of paper!  They are very light aqua colour and have confetti of all the different colours - yellow, blue and teal!!  Wonderful paper!
I added tissue paper snippets to the white pulp I had leftover and this also made very interesting paper.  I ran the leftovers from these flowers through the shredder, added them to a blender half full of water and blended it all just a bit.  Really love the subtle colours in this paper!!
I look forward to using these in my art projects!!


Embossed handmade paper

More handmade paper!!  Had a class yesterday with some young people and we made embossed handmade paper!!  I always use a plain paper for embossing because it shows off the embossed details so well.  I especially love it in white paper so that is what I made up for pulp.

I have a variety of moulds now!  These are ones I have made myself using hot glue and kitchen cloths.  You can see more details here!
These are the ones I made this year for my last class in January.  I did not get any samples made then so I took advantage of my leftover pulp this time and made a whole bunch to have on hand.

These will be great for using later in the session!!


Thursday, February 07, 2013

Heart cards - French elegance

I downloaded a card I just loved off of Splitcoast Stampers gallery last year.  I went looking for it this year to give credit but I could not find it but this card is very similar.  I did not have any stamps for creating the background so I decided to see what I could find for digital images to make a collage that would work.  I found all of these images at Graphics Fairy!!  It took a little bit of working to get them all laid out like I wanted them but then I just pressed print and got four to a page which was quick and easy!!  Fortunately, I had worked with some of them previously so they already had transparent backgrounds. Once printed I cut them apart, stamped them with a stipple stamp in gray and with an all over design in beige and then sponged the edges in a sandy colour.  I glued the background to a black card front, tied on a piece of beige crochet cotton with a double knot, glued on the greeting and then added the five heart punchies!!
I love the simple elegance of this card!! Hope you all have a great Valentine's Day with those you love!!


Heart cards with border punched greetings

These cards feature decorative paper and heart embellishments.  I used a 4"x 4" of decorative paper and cut in two - 2.5" and 1.5".  We glued the larger piece at the top of the card front and the smaller at the bottom. To create the middle section we glued the colour printed greeting to a coordinating strip of cardstock and then added two border punched strips to each long side.  This element we glued over the gap on the card front and trimmed it to the edge of the card.  Added the heart embellishment using 3D foam tape.  This is such a flexible sketch!  Depending on the paper, you can create a card for any occasion!!  The card on the right features black and white paper I created using Graphics Fairy images because I did not have any paper in my stash that  worked well with my little chipboard heart!!


Heart cards - masculine

Knowing that somewhere along the way they probably would need a masculine card I designed these.  I inked and sponged the embossed layers so they would be ready to go.  We attached the ends of the twill tape to the back of the embossed cardstock using double sided tape and then glued it to the card front. To create the central element we layered two dark halves behind the metallic decorative label (SU) and glued on a little flocked heart.  It was adhered to the card front using 3D foam tape and then we glued three little punchies to the lower right side.
I like accenting embossing using ink pads because it just hits the high areas and really makes the images pop!!  For the brown one I used two colours because the first one was too brown and it really added depth to the image!!


Heart cards - double hearts

 Had a class last night for a group of young women who were having a night out - pizza, childcare and some creative time - so I planned some heart cards!!  To keep within the hour time frame I kept the cards quick and easy and did as much prep as I could.
For this card we layered embossed cardstock onto our card front, adhered our little ribbon frame image (Graphics Fairy) and then glued on with 3D foam tape our layered hearts (SU -SX) and greeting (SU).     I provided a variety of colour printed greetings so they could customize their cards for their needs.  In this case the red, black and white one would have been appropriate for Valentine's.
We can bless all the people we love with heart cards at this time of the year!!