Wednesday, 13 October 2021

It's Not Just Black & White


     The new challenge at Christmas Craft Creations this month is a colour theme, use black, white and one other colour. A splash of red for Christmas and an idea that positive and negative might work well was what started these two cards.
      It took a little while to work out what had to be stamped where and in what colour but once I got going it all worked out. I also stamped some on kraft card to try later as this was the sample I had seen at HoneyDoo Crafts shop.
      White ink can be a bit hit and miss so I embossed with white to get a good coverage. Stamping with black was fine so these were not embossed. I asked Amanda at HoneyDoo how she had got that perfect red on her card and she very kindly told me it was paper pieced.
      I stamped enough for these cards and a few spare......just incase. 
      I found it easier to add shading to the main image before adding the paper pieces, this was done with a mixture of 4B pencil, white pencil and a white pastel pencil. Detail was added with a white gel pen and a black fineline pen.
      It was important when I cut the paper pieces out that I cut along the lines, this meant there were no red edges showing outside the stamped line.
      All off the paper pieces were stuck on with Stix2 3D PVA, it's a good strong glue that dries clear.
      There was a lot of open space around the image so I hand drew a wiggly line around the edge as a frame, I was going to add a few sprigs of holly but my drawing skills are not great and after all that work I didn't want to make a mess of it.
      The base cards are 7x7 so I had room for a mat layer or two. When adding narrow mats I tend to use an inexpensive white card and an alcohol marker rather than cut up my precious coloured card.
      The mat on the greeting is also a 'frugal' layer. All main layers were stuck down flush to the card blank but the greeting was put on with foam tape, just to give a little bit of a lift.
      These cards can go letter post as they are thin enough but sadly being over 6.5 inches wide they will be large letter. By making two similar cards I am managing to increase my card stash a little faster as well as stretch my imagination.
      Please pop over to the Christmas Craft Creations blog for lots of inspiration and remember it doesn't have to be a card, we accept other projects as long as they follow the theme.

I would like to enter these cards in the following challenges:
The Holly and Ivy - #103 Anything Christmas
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas - #563 Anything Christmas
Merry Little Christmas - #39 Anything Christmas
Peace On Earth Christmas - #1 Inspiration Board
Mix It Up - #54 Anything Goes / Paper Piecing

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Dead Gorgeous Kitty


      And now for something completely different, this month's project for The Paper Funday is all about almost Halloween. I say almost because it's not something we really celebrate here, but I do have a friend that loves all things black, purple and fantasy so this is for her.
      To make the coloured hexagon I used a stencil from Crafts Too that fits in my stamp platform and a few Distress Oxide inks.
      I cut a small circle in Stix2 masking sheet for a moon and placed it within the hexagon before starting to ink the shape. I started with the palest colour around the moon, working out with darkening shades of purple, I used a touch of grey at the bottom to add a bit more depth to the shape.
       Once the stencil was removed I stamped a tree branch by Lavina Stamps in Versafine black coming in from the side. I searched my stash for a tiny bat stamp but couldn't find one, something to go on the wish list.
      The cat skeleton is an old die by Sheena Douglass cut in black card twice, I then stuck both cats together to make him a bit thicker.
      When I put it onto a black card blank it looked a bit too crisp around the edges so before sticking it down I went all the way around with a Memento grey inkpad, then I touched a little grey ink onto the moon and that was that.
      The Paper Funday is an anything goes challenge but we do have an optional twist, this month it's Halloween or Purple, please come and join us with your spooky makes.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Crafting Happiness - #116 October colours Purple, Black
Crafty Calendar - Halloween
Just Us Girls - #604 Halloween
The Paper Players - PP561 Spooky

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Wildlife By The River Of Creativity


     I'm trying something different for this month's River Of Creativity, we may be a multi craft challenge but that doesn't mean you can't enter with a card project. So if you are making your Christmas cards you can join us as long as it has a wild animal on it.
     This trio started as a splodge background using Distress Oxides. I like making a few of these splodge backgrounds in a nice long, messy play session, no two are ever the same, even when using the same colours.
     To add a little sparkle to the background I used pearl mica water instead of just water when spritzing the inks, I have found that this means I can tip the stamp platform around mixing up the inks with no need for a brayer. You do need a heavy weight card so it doesn't buckle when wet or better still watercolour card, although that can be harder to stamp on than smooth.

     Tartan seems to be popular this year so I searched through my stash and found one that picked out the ink colours perfectly, more by luck than judgement. 
      I stamped with Versafine Black using Lavinia Stamps deer and trees, the beauty of a stamp platform is silhouettes are no longer hit and miss, these images were stamped three times to get a nice dark coverage.
      When I cut mat layers I am very frugal, why use a complete layer when a wide border will do, I can keep the inners for another project.

     Although each card has a similar background I wanted them to be noticeably different. The first one was cut as a stitch dot square, mounted on a thin black mat, then on top of the tartan layer using foam tape, with the tartan flush to the card. To finish off I used a white gel pen to add highlights, mixed results with this, then a few tiny silver peel off stars.
     The second one I cut with a stitch dot circle, matted on a black layer with foam onto the tartan layer that was die cut in the corners with a snowflake pattern. To keep the curve element I used a corner punch on both the tartan and the card blank.
     I have been admiring the eclipse cards popping up in blogland so decided to give it a try. The main panel was again cut with the stitch dot square but then die cut with a bauble die. I then cut four plain card layers with the same bauble and stuck them together to make a thick mat. I wanted to add a little sparkle so I coloured the edge of this thick mat with a silver Sharpie, followed by a silver glitter gel pen, then I stuck the top layer on.
      As the bauble was raised I chose to mat and layer all the other pieces without any foam tape. This image has a small Father Christmas and reindeer stamped in the sky and to finish it off I used a white Posca pen to add the snowfall.
      All three cards are 7x7 inches so will either be a large letter or hand delivered. It was challenging to make them all appear different while using the same stash and it adds three cards to the box ready for December.
      Please come and join us at River of Creativity with anything you have made, including cards, that features wildlife. 

I would like to enter these cards in the following challenges:
Christmas Crafts All Year 'Round - Something beginning with S or T
Sparkles Christmas - #129 Flora / Fauna
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas - #152 Anything Christmas
The Holly and Ivy - #102 Anything Christmas
Merry Little Christmas - #39 Anything Christmas
Peace On Earth Christmas - #1 Anything Christmas

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Pop Out Nativity Decoration


     This is not a card, it's a decoration made with card using a card die. I made two cards with this die set and when I picked them up to move them they fitted together rather well, so I played around and worked out it would make a nice circular decoration, this one has three sections but it would work just as well with four.
    As I wanted three different sections and it's for Christmas what could be better than the nativity as a theme. Raiding my die sets I found I was one short so I have to thank Rene for lending me hers.
    Armed with wise men, the stable and some shepherds I worked out who would go where by which way they were facing. I also got a little happy with the scissors and chopped off a few bits here and there so they suited my plan. 
     The front band on these cards doesn't have a fold line on it, it's what gives it the ability to stand well, this is also where I wanted to add the greetings. To get the right height I cut the scene part first and then cut the band, taking great care not to cut off the scene. This can be achieved by slipping the scene part over the top of the die to avoid the cutting edge, just making sure the 'sandwich' in the machine was not too strong as it may have creased the scene.
     For the folding tabs inside I followed the same procedure with the exception of the donkey and camel, these were on different dies so I had to get creative with my cutting plates. I cut the donkey first, putting the top plate over the donkey but short of the other end of the tab, then I cut the camel by putting the top plate over the camel but short of the donkey. It sounds complicated but it really isn't, a machine will only cut if the sandwich is thick enough so if there's a thick layer missing it won't be able to cut.
     Once all the bands were cut I used the stencil greetings to cut them and added silver glitter card on the inside to sparkle through the words.
     I cut three sets of silver mirri mats and three sets of white card for the backings. For the wise men and the shepherds I embossed with stars but for the stable I used a ray of light folder on the white layers.
     When I glued the mat layers I left the bottom corners free so I could tuck the band underneath them for a tidier finish.
     To make the stable scene special I cut the angel, a star and the family in silver holographic card, mounting the angel and star on an acetate tab instead of card.
     With all three sections complete I then glued them together to form a circle. In hindsight I should have made sure all the bands where matched in height where they meet, maybe next time. 
     This would be great displayed on a lazy susan so it could be turned around to view all sections.

Materials List
JND213 - Stepper Fold Card die set
JND130 - O Little Town die set
JND131 - Nativity Scenes die set
JND199 - Christmas Sentiments
CTGFP-1 - Craft Artist Silver Glitter Card
CAT041 - Craft Artist Silver Card Mirri/Satin mix
S57262 - 3D PVA Glue
S57085 - 6mm Redline Tape

I would like to enter this project in the following challenges:
Jingle Belles - TicTacToe = Bling/Die cut/Trees
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas - #559 Anything Christmas/option Patterned paper or card
Winter Wonderland - September Anything But A Card 
Merry Little Christmas - #38 Anything Christmas
Die Cut Divas - September Anything Goes
Happy Little Stampers (Dies) - September Anything Goes
Let's Craft & Create - #175 Lots Of Layers
Gem Of A Challenge - #19 Anything Goes
The Holly and Ivy - #101 Anything Christmas     Top 3

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Let It Snow

     This months challenge at Christmas Craft Creations is a sketch. As we are getting closer to Christmas you may wish to start making cards, if you haven't already, and share with us what you've made.
     I decided to work with white card only, it has a pearly shine to it so it glistens a little like snow. I also chose to make a square rather than a rectangular card but stayed within the sketch brief.
     To make the top part of the card look different from the bottom I used a snowfall embossing folder. The crisp dividing line is where I cut across the square and only embossed the top part, then stuck them back together afterwards.
     The trees were die cut and mounted on foam tape, the two smaller ones on 1mm and the large one on 2mm.
     The greeting has been moved across to the opposite corner because it looked a bit squashed under the trees. I have been trying to use my stash so the greeting is a peel off from a rather full box. To tie it all together I used a silver mat layer before mounting on a square card blank.
     It's a rather simple card but I think it's quite effective and a handy seasonal greeting for any winter celebration.
     As you begin to make your Christmas cards remember to come and share them with us at Christmas Craft Creations.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
The 12 Month's Of Christmas - #81 Anything Christmas /Twist - Metallic
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas - #558 Anything Christmas/option S
The Holly and Ivy - #100 Anything Christmas
Merry Little Christmas - #38 Anything Christmas
My Time To Craft Christmas - #17 Embossing Hot/Dry

Sunday, 5 September 2021

It's All About The Bling


     This month's challenge at River Of Creativity is all about Fashion Sense. It's a challenge for all creative projects, so if you have made a new dress or knitted a new top you can enter them, we would love to see your work.
     I have wanted to make this head for some time, I've been collecting all sorts of 'bling' for months. I made a steampunk-ish type one several years ago and this one started life the same way, papier mache.
     I have a polystyrene head which I covered with cling film and then approximately 8 layers of papier mache. Once completely dry I cut the head open at the back and removed the polystyrene form. Using hot glue and a selection of clean stones from the garden I weighted the bottom inside.
     I pulled the head back together and sealed the wound with three layers of papier mache - an old newspaper and some PVA glue.
     Once the head had dried out thoroughly I die cut some swirl shapes in greyboard and glued them in place at random. I also die cut a fancy border in greyboard and glued that all the way around the base. 
     The next step was to use pieces of aluminium tape to cover the newsprint and the shapes, taking care to use a ball tool around the shapes to flatten the edges and define the swirls. Then it was time to break out the black acrylic paint, this was sponged all over the head, then just before it dried completely I rubbed some of it off so it had a distressed look. It's easy to touch up any areas you're not happy with but you can get messy hands, good thing it's all water based.
      Then came the fun part, trying to decide which bits and bobs to put on the head. The mask was a must, it helps define the face as the features are not strong. I was originally going to cover it with bling but having used aluminium tape it already had shine before anything else was added. It ended up with a tiny tiara, earrings, necklace and lots of stud earrings popped in on the swirls. Everything was attached with hot glue so I had to work fast, I made a few mistakes and had to peel things off, patch and try again, but I did enjoy making it.
      The last one I made was for a headphone stand but I have no idea what this one will be used for....yet. I have also kept the polystyrene shape just incase I feel like making another one.

I would like to enter this project in the following challenges:
Creative Artiste - #75 Anything Mixed Media      Top 3
Watercooler Wednesday - #323 Cathy's Challenge - All Things Feminine
Mixed Media Lovers - #5 Anything Goes
The Crafter's Cafe - #273 Anything Goes
A Perfect Time To Craft - #9-2021 Anything Goes      DT Fav
Love To Craft - #62 Anything Goes
Crafter's Castle - #45 Anything Goes
Crafty Calendar - September Anything Goes

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Autumn Hare


     The new challenge has started over at The Paper Funday, this month it's an Autumn theme.
     This started life as an experiment with a mixed media plate and some dye inks, I can't remember which inks as it was a few months ago. I make several of these pieces and keep them handy for backgrounds on future projects.
     The Lavinia Stamps silhouettes really make a great picture on this type of background, especially for me as my colouring in isn't all that good. I stamped the branch, fairy and hare in Versafine black ink a few days ago and left it to one side. After looking at it again I realised all it needed was a few autumnal falling leaves, these were stamped in Distress Oxides.
     The hardest part was then to find mat layers that would pick out the colour of the leaves. I found a pearl orange, a mid brown and an antique gold to use before finally putting it on a kraft card blank. It has no greeting so it can be used for a nice little 'hello, how are you?' card.
     The Paper Funday accept any project that fits the theme as long as it's made with card or paper, it doesn't have to be a greeting card, it could be a gift box or a scrap layout, whatever it is we'd love to see it.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Sweet Stampin' - Lots Of Layers
Gem Of A Craft - #18 Anything Goes
Use Your Stuff - #430 Anything Goes
Crafting Happiness - #111 Anything Goes