Sunday 30 June 2013

Altered Album

    Good morning fellow crafter's, here is this weeks project for J&C Creations.
    The album comes as a wire bound, Kraft brown, plain covered album with several lovely clean pages inside. J&C Creations have them on their website if you'd like one.
    I set about decorating the front to suit a man, with several masculine themed bits and pieces, some I already had and some from J&C. If you'd like to read the full story then please pop over to the J&C blog here and have a look.
    I'm going to try and come up with at least one possible Christmas gift every month so when it finally arrives I'll be a little less stressed.  Off to a boot sale now to see what goodies I can find to alter for next week.

Friday 28 June 2013

Pearl Berries

     This weeks Christmas card marks the half way point, only six months to go! Enough I hear you shout!
    This stamp is from Chocolate Baroque. I've embossed in gold on white card, twice, so I can cut out the holly leaves on the second copy. The leaves are coloured in with watercolour pencils, including the backs of the cut leaves and shaped a little. The berries are large red pearls that my Mum gave me, I didn't think they'd be much use to me but I have found them very handy indeed, thanks Mum.
    Before sticking on the berries and leaves with a strong PVA glue, I die cut the image using a Spellbinder die - Labels Seventeen, then I coloured the edges with Distress Ink Bundled Sage while the die was still in place so I got that little white border.
     The image is mounted on dark green paper then on gold embossed card. The card has little holly leaves all over it but unfortunately that doesn't show up much in the picture.
    The greeting is a die cut sentiment from a set that I've had for ages, I think it was from Lakeland so that tells you how old they are!
    I would like to enter this in the following challenges:
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Sequins and/or pearls

Thursday 27 June 2013

Licensed To Craft

     This is a birthday card I made for my husband, he's a Bond fan and when I got this stamp of an Aston Martin it was just perfect.
    I began by trying to re-produce the famous camera iris type shape, it took a few practise runs but I think I've got pretty close. I die cut a circle from a sticky note and used it as a mask for the centre, on this I also marked regular intervals on which to lay a die cut large circle to use as another mask. The second mask was moved around using the marks and only inking the edge to create the Catherine wheel look. This was done in blue Distress Ink - Stormy Sky.

    The car is from a set by Creative Expressions - Classic Cars, embossed in silver and coloured in silver (couldn't be any other colour!). The interior is dark red and I've also cut out the windows so you can see through them.  The image of St.Basil's Cathedral is a stamp from Crafters Companion, something Russian seemed appropriate for Bond.  Bond himself is a free digi stamp that I printed and cut out.  007 is made using peel off stickers, the numbers were easy but the gun is made up of different punctuation marks.
    I'm pleased to say he liked his card very much. I struggle with cute so male cards are a real pleasure to make.
    I would like to enter this in the design team call over at The Male Room which is running until 3rd July.

Monday 24 June 2013

New tools

    Here is a quick card for a man using some new dies I got this week. The dies are by Die-namics and have four little tools in the set.
    The tools have been cut from satin silver card and the handles coloured with Stazon as I don't have many markers yet.
    The wood grain is an embossing folder from Darice done on Kraft paper. There are two little chipboard die cut screw / bolt heads in the corners and the greeting is stamped in Archival Ink Coffee using a Hot Off The Press stamp.
    I would like to enter this in the Inkspirational challenge this week. They have a CASE card, this is a little masculine twist on the CASE but I think it still has the basic structure so I hope they like it.

House Of Cards - New Challenge Blog

    Monday 1st July sees the first challenge issued on a new site for card makers. I am very pleased  to say I made it onto the design team, yippee!!!
    We will have a monthly colour palette or sketch and then each week we'd like to see a different card making style using those parameters.  If there is a 5th Monday in the month, we will have a photo inspiration and you can create using any card making style you'd like! 
 The styles are:  
Week 1 - Fun & Cute
Week 2 - Clean & Simple
Week 3 - Classic & Elegant
Week 4 - Shabby & Vintage
Week 5 - Photo Inspiration in Favourite Style

    I do hope you will come and join us at House Of Cards. We have four design teams, one for each style, so there will be lots of inspiration for you. There is a full definition for each style and House rules listed on the blog so please pop over and have a look. For the month of July there is also a followers giveaway so it's well worth you taking a look, see you there!

Sunday 23 June 2013

Rustic Birdhouse

    Good morning everyone. Here is a little birdhouse that I made for J&C Creations. I am happy to say that even though they are changing their format they have very kindly kept me on the team, thank you ladies. I have a regular Sunday slot on the J&C Creations blog  to show you all sorts of things you can make, maybe even something for a Christmas gift or two.
    Keep an eye on their blog for many different crafting ideas from the team, not just papercraft . They now stock a variety of crafting goods from felt and fabric to beads and buttons with more to come on the J&C Creations website.
   If you would like to read about the making of this cute little house then please pop over to the blog for the full run through. In brief it comes as a board kit laser cut and ready to decorate. It stands approximately 6 inches high and is around 8.5 inches square, the flower pot is not included!
    You can decorate this in any way you wish, I chose a rustic look but would love to make a Christmas one with robins in it.
    I have some more news for you tomorrow so drop by if you can and all will be revealed.

Friday 21 June 2013

Hanging Baubles

    Have you ever started something you thought was a good idea and then wondered whether it would actually work? Well this is one of those ideas. I'm pleased to say I finished it, thanks to the encouragement of my crafty friends last night, but it doesn't look as it did in my head.
    52 Christmas Card Throwdown's challenge this week is ornaments and CraftyHazelnut's challenge is frames, windows or apertures so it was then a challenge to put them together.
    I began by die cutting my card front, another piece of white card and both patterned papers all at the same time. This meant that all apertures where in the same place exactly saving me lots of measuring and fiddling about later. I have used Spellbinders Heirloom Ornaments 2011 which matches up perfectly with Just Rite cling stamps Merry and Bright / Deck The Halls.
    I also cut out several bauble shapes to hang and stamped and embossed them in Bright Gold from Cosmic Shimmer.
     Each hanging bauble was cut and stamped twice so that I could put one either side of the gold thread that is stuck from top to bottom of each opening. This way the card looks good inside and out.
    The red baubles are stuck on the inside of the card so that when the card is shut they fill the apertures. This was done by sticking them in place through the apertures with the card shut, just be careful not to use too much glue or you could stick your card shut!
    The largest red bauble has a 'Merry Christmas' peel off on it and each bauble is hanging on a peel off chain.
  There are also gold corner peel offs on the front of the card, I have tried stamping before and usually get three good ones and the last one goes wrong!
    The pattern in the papers lines up perfectly despite the colour change because they where cut together. I also chose to use the second card piece on the outside as another layer so that inside stays clean and simple. The threads are sandwiched between the card front and the mat layer so all mechanics are hidden.
I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Frames, Windows or Apertures

Monday 17 June 2013

Lighthouse Blues

     My inspiration this week is from a photo at Inkspirational which shows a lighthouse, rough seas and sailing ships. Try it on Tuesday are looking for men's cards so I think this would be good for that challenge too.
    I have stamped with Distress Ink Faded Jeans using a Papermania stamp called Harbour Master and then used a water brush to drag some colour into the picture from the stamped lines. I have cut out the stamped panel with a pair of deckle edge scissors and mounted it on a piece of blue card using foam pads.
    The waves at the bottom are a die cut from Memory Box called Big Splash Border cut in white card. There is a small ships wheel charm attached to the bakers twine that is wrapper around the blue card.
    The blue card is stuck on to a large DL size card and I have decorated the envelope with shell stamps.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Inkspirational - Photo Inspiration ( Lighthouse, Ships, Waves, Blue)
Try It On Tuesday - One For The Men

Friday 14 June 2013

Green Trees

     This weeks Christmas card was inspired by 52 Christmas Card Throwdown's challenge of using only greens and one neutral colour.
    I began by die cutting a Spellbinder tree from copy paper to use as a mask. The mask ( the bit with the tree shaped hole in it ) was put on gloss card and then I used Distress Inks Bundled Sage, Forest Moss and blending foam to create a vague brayer type effect of graduated greens. Once I was sure this was completely dry I used the tree shape mask to cover the coloured bit and stamped in Archival Ink Olive with a Chocolate Baroque stamp from the Madonna and Trees set. This gives the appearance of the scroll tree being behind the fir tree, I then stamped again without the mask so I now had a scroll tree in front as well.
    The greeting is also on gloss card that has been coloured with Bundled Sage while the die was still on it so I got a small white edge. The greeting was stamped in the same Olive ink as the scroll trees and mounted on foam pads.

    The Archival Ink takes a while to dry so I then set about finding a star to put in the top corner, this also came from a Chocolate Baroque set and was stamped in Olive green. I have stuck a small green gem in the middle of the star to add some 'twinkle'.
    The gloss card was then mounted on a white card that has had its edge coloured with Forest Moss so that it tones with the rest of the card.
    CraftyHazelnut's challenge is to use die cuts, this may only have one stuck on it but they were most definitely used to make the card. Using the dies as masks is another way of getting your full value out of a considered purchase, just what every crafter likes to do!

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Shades of green

Monday 10 June 2013

Vintage Felt Brooch

    Here is a little item I made for J&C Creations with some of their wonderful new stock. They are branching out into crafts other than paper based items to compliment the existing J&C Beads.
    I began with the gorgeous teal felt which I die cut using Sizzix Tim Holtz Tattered Florals. I stuck two pieces of felt together using double sided sticky sheet and then die cut them, it gives a slightly more rigid flower than one layer.
    The lace is a cream crochet lace from the Vintage range as is the cog in the centre. I cut a length of lace and gathered it along one edge using a needle and cotton, then I pulled the thread and formed a rosette which I then stitched to the flower.
    The cog is fixed to the flower using a screw top brad which goes right through the whole item securing everything in place.
    The little dragonfly is a charm hung a small length of chain which is just passed through the cog, the lace behind the cog helps hold it in place, you could stitch this in place if you wish.

    The dragonfly's wings are coloured using alcohol inks. If you mix a little Snowcap white with another colour it will become opaque. I have used Lettuce and Stonewash to colour his wings.
    Finally I have stitched a brooch back onto the flower. You could cut a flower freehand if you don't have a die, this felt cuts easily without stretching, it's very good quality.
    These make great little presents, have fun making them for your friends.    

I would like to enter this creation in the following challenges:
Country View Craft's Challenge - Die cuts
Our Creative Corner - Recipe (Lace,Metal,Ink)

Friday 7 June 2013

Summer Flower Pot

   My summer pot of flowers is made using Flowersoft in yellow, orange and summer mix with  some small die cut leaves. I've tried to use everything from my stash as some of these things have been around for ages. The little terracotta  half pot I've had so long I can't remember where it came from!
    The lace doily is die cut using a Papermania die and cut in cream card that has been distressed with Old Paper Distress Ink. Each flower in the lace has a yellow pearl in the centre, the pearls are cut from a swirl I've had for months and coloured with a permanent marker, as are the tiny orange pearls in the corners.
    The melon coloured card has also been distressed around the edge with Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink and mounted on to pearl chocolate card after having green ribbon wrapped along each side. There is a small gold corner peel off in each corner to finish off.
I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Make My Monday - Ribbon and Lace
Inkspirational - Colours, Yellow, Orange and Melon. 
Heck Of A Challenge - Bingo (Lace, Ribbon, Pearl, Yellow, Die Cut, Green)
Our Creative Corner - Recipe (Ribbon, Clay, Ink)


Tuesday 4 June 2013

Technique Time Tuesday's Chalkboard challenge

     This month at Technique Time Tuesday we have issued the 'Chalkboard' challenge. This technique uses dark card, white embossing powder and white ink.
    There is a very good video tutorial on the challenge blog so pop over and take a look, this really is a simple technique with a great effect.
    I found it easier to use acrylic stamps for this although it can be done with rubber, it just takes a little more care when lining up your shadow effect. All these stamps are from the same set. I planned my finished image by laying up the stamps on a large acrylic block and doing a practice stamp on some scrap paper, I had to move a few things around until I was happy with the final image.
    I chose to use black card but any dark colour would work. It's a very good idea to use an anti-static pad before stamping just to make sure there are no 'extra bits' in your design. I used Perfect Medium ink and Cosmic Shimmer True White embossing powder, I also heated from underneath so as not to blow specks of powder into the wrong areas.
    Once I had stamped a couple of copies (always good to have a spare in case of hiccups) I then took each stamp that I wished to shadow and put them on a small block ready to stamp with Brilliance Moonlight White ink. I haven't put shadow on all the words, some looked more 'handwritten' than others and a shadow didn't seem right.  On the bits that I missed or that were not too good I went over them with a Distress Marker Picket Fence which worked really well in covering my imperfections. The only place I've used any colour is on the globe where a little blue chalk has been added for the seas and oceans. The straight lines are drawn with a white gel pen, it seems to round off the image and give it a frame of its own. There are a couple of areas that I've lightly blended with white ink to give the effect of chalk dust so now the odd specks of powder that escaped don't look so out of place.
    I have covered the card blank with some map scrapbook paper, it was quite bold so I've toned it down by blending white ink over it which has given it a hazy look. To finish I have used some kraft card and a ticket stamp to add my sentiment.
    Please pop over and see the other creations by the design team, there's lots of inspiration. I hope you decide to try this technique and join in the challenge. I'll definitely be trying some more cards like this.

Spellbinding Scarab Beetles

     This started life as a bit of fun playing around with some dies, I like to see what else I can make with my dies so I can get full value for money from them.
    The set I was using is Damask Motif from Spellbinder, it has several different elements to it so there are quite a few die cuts to experiment with.
    I have cut the 'legs' of the beetle in plain black card, his 'body' is cut from blue mirri card. Before cutting the body it has been embossed using a masking stencil rather than a folder. A stencil will give a softer impression as it doesn't make a sandwich of the card like a folder does, but you do need a tan mat to do this (or three sheets of doubled over kitchen towel will do the same job in an emergency).
    The body has been gently curved between my fingers to give it shape and there are two foam pads underneath to make sure it stays domed. There you have it, a scarab beetle, you can adapt the bug to make ladybugs, dung beetles and all sorts of other creepy crawlies that are just great for boys cards.
    The tag was a dark buff colour to begin with and I have stamped in Archival Ink Coffee using an All Night Media Egyptian set that I've had for years. The hieroglyph paper is from a book of papers that has also been around for ages so this tag really is verging on the ancient!
    I crumpled up the tag and distressed the edges to add to its tatty appearance. The pharaoh is embossed in gold and his head dress is coloured with a metallic blue pencil. The ribbon is seem binding stamped in Archival Ink Coffee and coloured with Distress Inks to age it.
    I shall continue to play around with the dies to see what else I can come up with, it's experimenting like this that makes getting a new set all the more fun.
    I would like to enter this tag in the following challenges:
Inkspirational - Anything goes
Try It On Tuesday - On The Wild Side

Monday 3 June 2013

Let It Snow Sketch

    After a relaxing few days away in the rain near Brighton I'm ready to get back into action with this weeks Christmas card. My starting point was a sketch from 52 Christmas Card Throwdown and the use of die cuts as my Favourite Embellishments at CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge.
    I began by colouring my card blank with Distress Inks Broken China, Faded Jeans and Chipped Sapphire. Then I used some snowflake stamps to Watermark the card as well as flicking small drops of water to get little blob marks. This is my favourite technique, if you haven't tried it pop over to Technique Time Tuesday and check out the fab tutorial.
    I die cut some snowflakes using Spellbinders Create A Flake 1 and 2010 Snowflake Pendant from white pearl thick paper. The icicle border is also cut from the same paper and stuck on the back of a silver pearl strip that runs across the card. It was at this point I wish I hadn't chosen to use a card with scalloped edges!
    The centre panel is the same white pearl paper stamped with a greeting from Katy Sue Designs and embossed in a dark blue powder from Personnel Impressions. It's stuck on a very dark blue card mounted onto the card with foam pads. In each corner is a small silver peel off snowflake.
I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Favourite Embellishments