Monday, March 31, 2014

Embellished bee die cuts

I have been working on a project that featured bees so I decided to see what I could do with what I had.  I went looking because I was quite sure I had bought a bee die a while back and lo a behold I found it!  I used it to cut a dozen bees from white cardstock. Wanting them to look much more realistic for my project I decided to embellish them.  I started adding details with a fine tip Sharpie marker using a printed one from CLKER as a visual reference.  I added detail to the wings, eyes and body and coloured the legs and antenna solid black. They looked much better!!  To attend more reailism I went ahead and added watercolour - yellow to the body and very light blue to the wings.  Once they were dry, I used clear dimensional paint to highlight the wings and the eyes!!  I am really happy with how they turned out!!  Check back later to see the project I was working on!!


Friday, March 28, 2014

Wedding cards

I have been working on these large wedding cards for the last few days.  We have a couple of weddings coming up this summer and I wanted to be sure that I had my cards ready.  I started by creating the love background using lots of different fonts in a variety of sizes and orientations.  I added a few hearts in there as well though they are not very visible on these cards.  It took a while to decide which fonts to use, where to position them, what size they should be and how close together to place the individual words.  I am very happy with how it turned out and because they are all fonts I can easily print them any colour I need.
In the case of these two cards, I chose colours that coordinated with the decorative paper I had chosen. The paper is very soft and elegant with pearl effects which I was not able to capture in my photo.  Even though these cards are going to different parts of the country to people who do not know each other I decided to use the same sketch and vary the colours and images to give them each a unique look.
For the left hand card, I started with a kraft base card, added a strip of the decorative paper at the top and bottom and glued my colour printed background in between.  I used my ribbon border punch (SU)  to create two decorative strips and stitched them using a coordinating floss that had a bit of pearly shimmer.  I used double sided tape to adhere them over where the papers overlap.  I added some white vintage seam binding through the middle of the card front and tied the ends in a double knot on the right.  I used my slot punch and just nicked the spine with it to make a thin slot to run my ribbon through - works perfectly.
I used a laser printed image of a wedding cake from CLKER which I lightly watercoloured, added some pearly paint to the decorative icing and then added a very light pearly coat to the whole image.  Love it!!  I layered it onto coordinating cardstock, added 3D foam tape to the back and positioned it on my card front over the seam binding to the left of the knot.  I colour printed a greeting, punched it out with my decorative label punch (SU), sponged the edges and used 3D foam tape to adhere it over the right hand side of the lower border.
For the right hand card, I used a blue card base, printed my love background in blue and used a vintage image of a couple from Graphics Fairy.  I am very happy with both cards and am looking forward to seeing family at both events this summer.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gifts of Imperfection - last journal prompts

I am just finishing up the last of the journal prompts that Brene provided us to work on as in interim activity between Part 1 and Part 2 of her Ecourse - The Gifts of Imperfection which is being offered by Oprah on her website.  It has been fun to create arty pages on which to work the substance of the journaling for the prompts.
I hand lettered the titles on these pages using a fine tip Sharpie and added colour afterwards.  This time around I decided to use my new set of watercolour crayons by Stampin UP!!  The regal collection!
I had only seen these demonstrated before but when they were on clearance I decided to give them a try. They are solid watercolour crayons and therefore a very cost effective source of watercolour.  They are very creamy, vibrant and are easily watered down without getting too runny.  They are a little more opaque than my current palette of watercolour - a kid's set I bought years ago.  I really love all the colours in this set and will use them a lot.
On the first page I just rubbed the pencils onto the page and brushed on water with a foam brush.
Not my favorite way of using these crayons.  I found the strokes were too visible for my liking.  I used a watercolour paint brush to fill in around the letters of my title and I liked that much better.  I just wet my brush, wiped it across the end of the crayon and applied to my cardstock.  For page two I just used my brush to flick paint from the end of the crayon - a little trick I discovered as I was applying paint to my brush for the first page.  I used several colours of green to fill my FAITH word.  I used the leftover paint in my brush from the first title to colour the title on this page.  As you can see, the watercolour is easily watered down and still gives a nice depth of colour.  On my third page, I started by adding colour to my title and then remembered reading about a transfer technique using Sheer Heaven on the Whatever . . . Whenever blog.  I do not have any Sheer Heaven but I did have a few small pieces of vellum on my desk so I used that.  I just scribbled or drew on the vellum and applied the coloured side of the vellum to my damp cardstock. It transfers nicely.  The wetter the paper the more your transfer has a watercolour look. Too wet and it just makes a blob of colour, on drier paper you get more definition. Your paper does require to be dampened to get a transfer of colour of any kind.
So, Part 2 of the course starts next week and I am looking forward to getting back to the material from the book.  I am sharing with my Book Club friends from out east using Skype which has been lots of fun!!


Monday, March 17, 2014

Snowman Christmas cards

I made some snowman Christmas cards in the last few days which will be my quota for April!!  I am way ahead of my goal of 8 cards per month but that is OK.  We are anticipating a busy summer with family events so having a few in advance will be a good thing.  I have used the scraps of decorative paper left over from these cards.  It is paper napkin sealed with clear acrylic finish which made it translucent and stiffened it enough to be handled.
I started with white panel cards with matching envelopes.  I counted the decorative paper strips and then the cards and there were ten of each! Always an indication that I am on track.  I really wanted folding cards so I found some blue cardstock, trimmed it to a half inch wider than I needed it, scored and folded the little flap over.  I adhered my panel to it with a little piece of tape at the top and bottom and used my sewing machine to zig zag the two pieces together with coordinating thread to make a folding card.
I realized that I needed a very tall and slim image for this card and did not find anything in my rubber stamps or digital images that would do so I decided to draw what I needed.  In Corel Draw, I started with a long oval body, added a round head and then a few layers for the hat.  Added two twig arms, two eyes, a nose, a mouth and some buttons to finish him off.  Added a line at the bottom to indicate the ground he is sitting on and I was done.  I did use a snowman image I found on line as a visual as I was drawing.  I am really happy with the way it turned out.
I neatened the edges of my decorative paper, used a small piece of double sided tape in the center to keep it in place on the card front and positioned my snowman image over it adhering him with a small piece of tape. I sewed all the way around with white thread through all the layers to attach them both to the card front.  The snowman image was laser printed and watercoloured.  I dug through my greeting stash and found some blue "Let it snow!!" greetings which were the right colour so I used 3D foam tape to attach it below the image and created flag ends on each side with my scissors.  I had to add a piece of double sided tape below the decorative paper to support the greeting.  Below that I punched a snowflake (SU).  I also punched the insert once I added it so I can see the bright blue of the back when the card is closed.  I made ten of these cards - that gives me a total of 54 cards for Christmas!!
We are getting spring here and it is wonderful!!  There is water running everywhere and the sun is shining bright almost every day!!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Flipping Frog Card

I created this flipping frog card for a swap on AFTCM!!  A fun card - I found a Flip Card Tutorial here. !!  I added texture to the cardstock using an embossing folder and my hammer because once the flip mechanism was cut I was not able to emboss only the edges of the card.  The whole thing was too large to pass through my Big Shot!!  I added a bit of colour using pigment ink and embossed those areas with clear embossing powder which gives it a bit of a wet look and made it a bit bumpy like a frog - a toad in my case.  I laser printed the image (downloaded from CLKER) and the greeting, watercoloured the toad and layered it onto yellow before I added it to the center of the card which flips when you open it and reveals the greeting.  I found this cool TOAD greeting online and thought it would work perfectly with my image!!  It still needed a bit of something to I added a yellow ribbon bow to the left hand edge of the card!!      Therese

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Gifts of Imperfection - happiness, joy & intuition

 Another couple of pages in my journal for my Gifts of Imperfection online course with Brene Brown on Oprah.  I am still working on the journal prompts Brene provided us to work on until the beginning of Part 2 which starts on April 3rd.  For this one we are encouraged to consider the difference between happiness and joy!!
I hand lettered the title, filled in the open parts of the letters with colourful gel pens and added a watercolour background.  I am still using my Creative Lettering book by Jenny Doh for inspiration.  Below I added some flowers stamped in blue using a foam die cut (Tattered Flowers by TH).  I used the Generational stamping technique - you stamp 2-3 times before reinking your stamp which gives you several intensities of colour which adds depth to your background.
For this page we needed to draw or in some way convey our image of our intuition.
I used the same technique for this page as I did for the previous one though I did change up the hand lettering and the colours I used.  The hand lettering inspiration for INTUITION came from a Cardmaker magazine I took out of the library last week.  I drew my hearts and coloured them with colour pencils.
We have three more prompts to finish up before the beginning of Part 2!!


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Flowers with Serendipity circles

I played with the Serendipity technique in the last few days, so today I decided to make a few cards with one of them. I have made squares, rectangles and hearts in the past and wanted to change it up so decided to make circles!!  I die cut  five 2 inch circles (SX) out of my quarter sheet of blue/green serendipity paper.  I cut blue scallop circles to layer below them using my Nestibilities and added a ripped vellum circle above it along with a die cut button tied with white thread.
I stamped my light blue card fronts with my Worn background stamp (SU) using light gray ink but my stamp must have been stained a bit because it looked much more green than gray but it worked anyway.  I used the same supplies for each card - a strip of handmade washi tape, a large white rick rack border die cut (SX), a couple of sprigs of green leaves (SU), a 6 inch length of blue ribbon and an *always* tag in light green.  As you can see I managed to make two portrait and three landscape cards that are all a little different.

On the top left, I used a blue gel pen to add some faux stitching to the border and sewed it to the card front as well.  I added thread to the tag and included it in the ribbon bow.  I added iridescent glitter glue to the scallops of the circle.
On the top right, I used a short piece of white gros grain ribbon on my tag instead of the thread and tucked it into the rick rack border and paper pierced the scallops on my blue circle layer.
On the first landscape card, I used a Star Dust glitter gel pen to add dots to the scallops and faux stitching to the rick rack border.   I sewed the ribbon and the rack rack border to the card front and put my white gros grain ribbon on the back of my tag.

On my second landscape card, I wavy cut the edge of my circle, used the Star Dust glitter gel pen to add a wavy line and swirls in the scallops of my blue circle and used two pieces of washi tape.
On my third landscape card, I used a white gel pen to embellish the scallops of my blue layer and positioned the gros grain ribbon on the front of my tag.
It was fun to make five cards that used the same supplies in different layouts.  This serendipity is quite subtle compared to others I have made so it was interesting to work with lighter colours.  Love the way my washi tape looks on these cards.
I have a few more sheets of serendipity to work with so there will be more cards coming!!  Some are red and green which I will use to make Christmas cards.
If you have never tried Serendipity you should.   It uses up scraps and gives you new paper to craft with!!
Check out this posting for links to several tutorials.


Monday, March 03, 2014

4x4 Fat book page

Created this 4x4 chunky book page for a swap on AFTCM with the theme of "an elephant in town".
I created a cityscape a while back for my Valentine cards and I decided to use it for this page as well.  In this case, I watercoloured my laser printed image adding some gray in front of the buildings to simulate pavement.  I thought the whole page needed a bit of a border so I used a black fine tip Sharpie to add my striped border.
I had a little elephant die cut left over from testing a die I bought for my daughter but he was just plain gray so I sponged around his edges using black ink, added a bit of watercolour and then stamped him using a rough texture background stamp (SU) in black all over him.  I used a black fine tip Sharpie to define his toes and added a small black brad for his eye.  That was better!!  I decided he would be carrying a balloon so I used a white cardstock punchie, watercoloured it green and tied on a black thread.  I added my title by hand using a black fine tip sharpie after I penciled in the letters, adhered my elephant and balloon with 3D foam tape putting the thread from the balloon below the trunk of my elephant!! It is a nice marriage of cute and grungy!!  It is off to my partner in tomorrow's mail!!