Monday, June 30, 2014

Thank you card

Another card with this wonderful decorative paper!!  You can see the previous one here!!
I love this decorative paper and for this card I layered it onto a deep terracotta card front.  I used watercolour pencils to colour this stamped image.  I just loosely coloured in the different elements of the image using several different colours of crayons.  Afterwards, I used a wet paintbrush to reconstitute the colour and blend them nicely.  I have not used watercolour pencils this way before and I think it works pretty well.  I do not have a large selection of colours but they worked quite well for this image.  I will have to try mixing colours next time I use them. Convenient when you don't want a wet palette - like at a class or on a trip.  I layered my image on gray, mounted it over the ribbon which I layered over my card front and glued the ends to the inside of the card.  I added a small colour printed greeting which I layered on darker gray and mounted to the card front using 3D foam tape.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Anniversary card with love birds

A card for my DH for our anniversary!!  The bird cage image was downloaded off of The Graphic Fairy.  I modified it a while back and added my own digital love birds.  For this card, the combined images were printed on white cardstock and watercoloured. I added some Vintage Linen distress ink to the frame before I stitched it to the vintage image.  I embellished the laser printed greeting with watercolour, punched a hole on one end and flagged the other.  I tied a string into the hole and wrapped the long end around this focal element several times and tied the ends near the tag.  I attached the whole element to my blue green card front using double sided tape.  The greeting needed a bit of something so I added a little heart rhinestone which I coloured with a sharpie to be a coordinating colour.


Fabric Journal - part two


Here are the back and front of the finished fabric journal. I love the amount of texture it has and how colourful it is!!
I added a long quiltie to which I had sewed an elastic band as part of my closure.  I found a large white button in my collection and decided it would be just what I needed to finish off the closure on this journal.

Here are some close ups of my embellishments - charms and beads!!


Here are photos of the inside and back covers!!

The fabric cover holds a composition book which can be replaced once it is full.   The flaps provide a place to store notes or even a writing implement depending on what the journal is being used for.

I am happy with how it worked out.  I have enough little quilts made to make another one.  I did find someone on line that had made cuffs from some of hers so I may give that a try.  There are certainly lots of people making bags from them as well so I will consider that some time in the future!!

I have really enjoyed making the little quilts.  I have been stitching them in the car on our road trips.  I just prep a few pieces (two pieces of fabric pinned together with batting in between) before the trip and bring along a needle, some thread, a small set of scissors and some pins in a bag and I am ready to go.  It passes the time and miles very pleasantly!!
Without even trying hard I have collected a bit of a fabric stash - just little pieces that are left over from sewing projects, scraps from other quilters in the family and a few quilt scrap bags from thrift/fabric stores.
I am certainly enjoying the creative possibilities of these little hand stitched quilts and look forward to doing even more creative projects with them.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fabric journal - part one

A few months back I decided I would make a journal with my little quilts as a fundraising prize for an event I am attending this summer!  I have been making the little quilts for quite a while and have a bit of a collection.  I decided that I would make a hand quilted cover that would accommodate a composition book.  The books are readily available and are a consistent size so replacing the book would be easy once it was full.  
I took out my stash of little quilts and started laying them on the composition book in an effort to work out a layout that would be suitable for two covers.  Here are the ones I chose for the front and back covers.  
Once I had chosen the ones I wanted I reviewed Teesha Moore's video to see what she did next.  She added her stitching to the surface of the little quilts next so that is what I did.  It was fun to use different colours of thread and add all kinds of stitching to them.  It really added a lot of texture!

Here is what they looked like once I had finished adding the stitching to all of the pieces I had chosen. 
You will notice that there have been some changes from the original layout.  I found that some did not 
fit together as well as I had originally thought they would and others did not provide quite as much area as
I had thought they would so I made a few changes.  Here is a close up of the stitching I added.  I just worked with the design of the fabric and made a LOT of little stitches.  You can use any embroidery stitches you like so I added some french knots to the middle of the flowers and to some of the dots in the fabric.

Once all of the quilts had been stitched it was time to sew them to each other.  I originally just butted the two quilts to each other and did an over hand stitch to bind them to each other.  After having finished about half of the one cover I found that this method allowed the pieces to overlap and I was losing area which meant that the cover was going to be too small!!  Needless to say, I had to rework the layout and change up my little quilts to bigger ones.  So, I also had to go back and add stitching to the ones I had substituted in.  It took a little longer than I had expected but I have a few that are already stitched that are ready to be included in another project.  So, to prevent my pieces from overlapping I started using a figure eight stitch instead and that worked much better.   With that little problem solved I proceeded to finish up both of my covers.  Below you can see how they looked once I had finished sewing the covers.
These journal covers have a LOT of texture.  The seams are bumpy and colourful.  Check the photo above for a close up of the seams and how the overhand stitch tends to make the pieces overlap.  

So that was the process of getting the covers made.  It was relatively easy to sew them to each other.  I added some inside flaps to keep the fabric cover on the composition book and a closure.  Check my next posting to see the finished journal.  


Little quilts

Another stash of little quilts which I have managed to get done in the last few trips we have made this year!!  I am starting to have a bit of a collection of these!!  I have been making them for almost a year now!!  You can check out my others here.
I have started a journal - Teesha Moore style which I will be posting shortly!  It has taken me a while to get it done but I am happy with it.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thank you card with special paper and ribbon

Have you ever received some wonderful paper and ribbon on a gift and just want to reuse it because it is so beautiful!!  That's what happened this past week!! I love this paper and ribbon - I just had to make a card!!  I needed one for someone special who took care of my garden while I was away - perfect!!!
I found some yellow cardstock which coordinated with the paper and glued the decorative paper to my card front.  I cut a piece of ribbon leaving the flagged end, glued the cut end to the inside of the card and added a small piece of double sided tape below the ribbon where the image was going to be.  I watercoloured my heart image (Torico - Birdie Brown), layered it onto yellow and adhered it to my card front over the ribbon using 3D foam tape.  I found this tiny greeting in my stash that was the perfect colour so I distressed its edges and added to my card using 3D foam tape.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Bright birthday card!!

Here is the card I made for my sister, Sylvia, for her birthday!!  It is vibrant with colour and that is how she likes them!!
I started with a bright piece of decorative paper which I made last fall.  I was playing with water based markers and coffee filters in an effort to find a fun craft to make with my grandchildren. I had scribbled the markers all over the coffee filter and spritzed it with water to see how much the colours would bleed into each other.  It worked nicely but the coffee filter was soaked so I used several sheets of glossy photo paper to remove the excess and this is what they looked like once they were dry!!  LOVED THEM!!
I cut the decorative paper to size, combined two framelits (one label - one oval) with painters tape and cut the aperture in the top of the decorative paper.  I used a letter punch set to punch "birthday" at the bottom of it and added "happy" over it by hand using a black fine tip sharpie.  I added a wide teal ribbon between the two and I tied a shorter piece to it to simulate a bow.  I glued the whole element to a bright green card front.  For my other element I added a large white silk flower and small turquoise one to the center of the oval and attached them with a small black brad.  I coloured the small one, which was originally white, with ink from a teal stamp pad.  The colour matches perfectly. I glued it, nicely centered, into the opening.  It still needed a bit of something so I added dots on the inside of the frame and the letter openings with a black sharpie.  That was better!!
Unfortunately, I will not be able to be with her on her birthday this year so we will be making plans to get together later.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day card with a cabin

I have managed to use quite a few of these frames in the last little while!! In this case, I used it to frame a watercoloured image of a cabin.  The cabin is one that I received in a swap years ago and I thought it would be appropriate for my Dad for Father's Day. I added some Vintage Photo distress ink to the frame before I stitched it to the image.  Aterwards, I stitched the whole element to a dark brown card front.  I embellished a laser printed greeting with watercolour and used staples to attach it to my card.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Braided T-shirt bracelets

I just discovered these braided T-shirt bracelets on line a while ago and thought I would give them a try as I have acquired a small stash of scraps!! I really love the soft look of these ones and the feel is really nice too - comfortable!!  They stretch just enough so you can get them on and don't have to worry about losing them.
Here is a link to a tutorial if you are interested in making your own.  These will be fun as prizes for an event I will be attending this summer!!  I may make a few more in different colours!!
The perfect project for your favorite T-shirts who have had an accident or are worn through in a few places!!


Graduation card

We have a niece graduating from high school this month and so I made her a card!!
I started with a white card front, layered some black and added the graphic gold metallic decorative paper.  I created the greeting using Corel Draw and included a cap I downloaded from CLKER.  It has a tassel in the original but I wanted to add a real one so I removed it from the digital image before I printed it.  The greeting is patterned after one I saw on a card on Splitcoast Stampers - I changed the fonts and the wording to suit what I wanted it to say.  After laser printing it I watercoloured the cap using black watercolour and added a gold tassel (gold embroidery thread) with a tiny gold brad.  I layered the greeting on black and included a strip of gold embossed mesh which I flagged on the bottom end.


Saturday, June 07, 2014

Gifts of Imperfection - Cultivating meaningful work

The course is over but we have a few weeks to finish up our work so I am working on my Gifts of Imperfection E course by Brene Brown this weekend.  Week Four's lesson is about identifying our "Superpower" so we can apply it/them to doing meaningful work.  Meaningful work feeds our spirit and makes a difference in the world - we are very fortunate if it also pays the bills.  If not, then it is beneficial for us to find a way - volunteering, a side business or a part time job that will do it for us.  Our Kryptonite is how this same quality can become a detriment if we abuse it.
I started both of these pages with watercolour crayons - the SU Bold and Bright & Regals sets!!
These are wonderful crayons that are rich and creamy and are very versatile because they can be used in so many ways.  I scribbled all around the pages with the crayons and then just ran a wet brush over them - they melt into a puddle of colour which you can distribute as you wish.  To add texture I applied several colours of  watercolour to a back ground stamp by just rubbing the crayons over the rubber surface, spritzing it with water and stamping it onto my page!! I love the way it came out.   I added my hand lettering and the borders with a fine tipped Sharpie once the pages were dry!!
One more lesson to go!!


Gifts of Imperfection - Healing of calm and stillness

 Another couple of pages for my Ecourse  by Brene Brown called the Gifts of Imperfection.
We were tasked with discover what made us feel calm and then finding a photo or photos of those things so this page in our journal would always be a reminder of what we need to do to when we are out of control, exhausted or anxious.  For me, nature does it every time, so I found this green forest photo on line and printed it along with the shadowed words.  I added my other items in the green space.
This page is about the process of creating calm for ourselves.  We could either create a map or use a real one and add our process.  I have a stash of maps and found this one had lots of room for writing which was perfect for adding my path to calm.

It is always good when you can identify a process which you can use to deal with the hectic days and bring yourself back to being calm.


Gifts of Imperfection - Rest and Play

Another few pages for my Ecourse with Brene Brown called the Gift of Imperfection.  In this lesson, we worked on recognizing that being exhausted is not a badge of honour and productivity is not equivalent to our self worth.   Rest and play are both basic needs of every person!!  When we do not honour ourselves we lose!!
Here I hand lettered "PLAY" (Thanks, Yogi, for examplar) using a fine tip Sharpie marker and added my numbers and a doodle.  I added watercolour afterwards.  Love those Kersal letters!!
 For this page I watercoloured the page first and then added my lettering.  I used my Creative Lettering book by Jenny Doh to add some interest to my title. I love the book - lots of great lettering inspiration!!
For this page, I hand lettered block letters and filled them in with glittery gel pens!!  They needed a bit of something so I added the dots with the marker and a bit of shadowing using a black pencil crayon.

I hope you all can find some time for rest and play in your life.  It will create joy and meaning for you  All so crucial for balance.


Gifts of Imperfection - Cultivating Creativity

I am playing serious catch up with my online Ecourse by Brene Brown called the Gifts of Imperfection.  I managed to get these pages created before my last meeting but am just uploading them today.
This is the beginning of Part 2 and the lesson for the first week as Cultivating Creativity.  This lesson was not difficult for me as I recognize that I am a creative being and am often engaged in creative activities.  For my page I decided to use a piece of paper I created when I was working on  this Bee Attitudes book project.
I created block letters and doodled inside them except for the word creative which I hand lettered cursively. I added a funky border and I like the way it goes with the watercolour resist paper.
For my second page I needed to record my art scars.  I had to look pretty hard to find any.  I expect it was because art was not offered in junior or high school - those years where we are most susceptible to scarring  - so I was spared the judgement of art teachers or my peers.
This page was a self portrait.  I have to admit that I did not follow the rules - we were supposed to use only crayons.  I did a basic pencil sketch before adding colour with my crayons.  One of the girls with whom I am doing the course followed the rules and did a much more effective job of her self portrait.  I need to work on being free and be willing to fail and begin again.

I am really appreciating the lessons of this course!


Square anniversary card with doily

This month's card swap on AFTCM is to make a square card that includes hearts and a doily.  Again, I went looking in my stash to find the doilies I knew should be there.  Yeah! I found them in the second box I looked in!!
I cut the paper doily in half and found the background paper on my desk.  It is a colour printed background I created when I was working on these wedding cards.  I found some cardstock that coordinated and cut it to 5.5" x 8.5", scored it at 5.5" and folded it.  I cut a scrap from the other piece, laid it butting against the back flap, placed double sided tape over the joint and added a square of white on the inside for writing on.  I trimmed the decorative paper to 5.25" square and glued it to the front of my card after I had sponged the edges just a bit.  I sponged the edge of the paper doily as well and used double sided tape to adhere it over the decorative paper.   I found a piece of grosgrain ribbon in my stash that was the right colour, flagged the ends by folding it in half and snipping diagonally from the fold to the corner and adhered it in place over the edge of the doily using double sided tape.  I punched two hearts (SU), sponged their edges and embossed them with a vintage floral embossing folder (SU). They seemed too plain so I went looking into my "hearts bin" and found these printed hearts (3peas font) that would be perfect.  I trimmed them to their edges, watercoloured them with pink Distress Ink (Victorian Velvet) and glued them to the embossed hearts.  Much better!!  I adhered the two hearts over the ribbon using 3D foam tape.  I sponged the punchie greeting (SU Large Oval) and layered it over an oval I cut with a small oval Nestibility.  I like that it is an uneven layer below the greeting.  I added the layered greeting to my card front with 3D foam tape.
Very happy with the way this card worked out!!  I don't often think to use paper doilies. I have the other half on my desk and should make a point of incorporating it into another card soon!!


Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Chunky fat book page - in my garden

Joined a Chunky Book page swap on AFTCM with the theme of "What is in my garden?".  I thought a fairy in my garden would be perfect and hoped when I went digging into my stash I would find the page of stickers I recalled having at one time!!  Yeah - I found them!!
I started with a subtle blue and green 4" x 4" piece of decorated glossy photo paper which I created for this project.  I started by sponging the sky using a torn piece of paper to create the texture you see which sort of looks like clouds.  Next, I started sponging green using the same torn paper which created a bit of a layered forest background. I was careful not to put too much colour in the center where I was going to position my sticker.  Once I was finished with the green I applied my clear backed fairy sticker to the middle of the page.  Next, I stamped some evergreen trees in green on each side as well as some tall lavender flowers in front of them.  The bottom needed more colour so I sponged on some brown and added more texture by over stamping the area with my stipple stamp (SU).  I stamped "IN MY GARDEN" using a magnetic Making Memories alphabet stamp set using a metal mount.  I stamped the words in brown but they did not show up quite like I wanted them to so I went over them with a fine tipped marker in a coordinating colour. That was much better.  I added some faux stitching all the way around with the same marker and stapled on a little bit of ribbon.  I mounted this to a black layer, stamped the back with a flower stamp which I embossed with iridescent embossing powder (SU) and then added my info using a white gel marker!!  My page will be off to my partner this afternoon.
I am really enjoying sponging my backgrounds and it works just as well on plain cardstock as it did on this glossy photo paper.


Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Travelogue book for a swap

 I joined a book swap on AFTCM that required that we create a Travelogue. I googled Travelogue to see what exactly that meant and found that it is a book that records the details of a trip. So, I created a book that will do just that!  It is appropriate for almost any trip - camping at the lake this summer to visiting a foreign country for the first time.
 I started by creating the paper for the pages.  I used TH Distressed ink pads, a non stick craft sheet, a spray bottle of water and several sheets of glossy photo paper (4"x 6").  I applied three or four colours of ink to the craft sheet in a random pattern, spritz it with water and placed the photo paper glossy side down into the ink.  I continued to spritz and apply the paper until I was happy with the look.  I was able to make 2-3 sheets with each inking.  I laid them all out and once they were dry I matched them up to create the pages of my book - six sets of two.
I brainstormed some words that would be appropriate for my pages and decided on twelve that would work for almost any trip.  I drew a fancy "I" along with one word on each page using a fine tip Sharpie.  I used my Creative Lettering book by Jenny Doh for inspiration for my "I"s.  I added dots to create guidelines to aid in adding the trip details on each page.  I was careful not to draw too close to the edges knowing I needed room for stitching and binding.  As I blogged these images I see that I forgot the dots on two pages!  Already fixed!!

I found ribbons that coordinated with each set of pages, placed them on the right hand side in between the two sheets and stitched the two together using black thread in my sewing machine.  I spaced the ribbons so they would all be visible when the book was closed.  Stitching them together created pockets which can be used to store ephemera from the trip. I added an arrow and a half circle punch out to highlight the pockets. The pages still needed a " bit of something" so I used a floral stamp to add some flourishes to each page.  Just what they needed.
I worked out my binding pattern and punched 1/16" holes on each set of pages to coordinate with my pattern.  I used black cotton thread to tie together two sets of pages 1 & 6, 2 & 5, 3 & 4 leaving a bit of a gap between them. Then, I worked on my covers.  I used two pieces of medium weight chipboard from my stash cut to size and bound them to each other by stitching a piece of wide grosgrain ribbon (ends stitched together) between the two pieces.  Made a very neat binding

 I then stacked my three sets of pages one on top of the other, in order, and used a needle and black cotton thread to stitch and tie off each of my six page bindings to my grosgrain binding on my covers. Worked wonderfully!! I have a book that opens wide with a very streamlined binding.

I hand lettered the words for the cover onto a spare piece of decorated photo paper and tied on a metal heart embellishment (earring dangly).  I did some doodling on the chipboard cover using black Sharpies before stitching the decorative element to the front cover using black thread.
I added yet more doodling to the front cover until I was happy with the contrast of the lines and the weight of the lettering.  
 I decided to use the little half circles I had left over from punching my pages to decorate my back cover. I matched them up, glued them into place and used my fine tip Sharpie to add some doodling around them.
 After, checking out all the pages I decided to add a bit of doodling to each half circle opening that I had punched out and added a couple of images in the pockets!!
There is a lot of room in this Travelogue book for my swap partner to make it their own.  I hope they add yet more doodles - lots of room on the pages and the back cover!! I hope they enjoy their trip and add details as they travel to create for themselves a wonderful little book of memories.