Wednesday 26 November 2014

Blue Ribbon Deer

      Today is the start of another challenge at The Male Room, this time we would like to see ribbon used on a masculine creation.
     This card was very simple to make, just what you need when time is running out.
     I bought some blue tartan like wide ribbon in a discount shop a few weeks ago, it's wide enough to die cut shapes and it doesn't fray much. I cut a length of the ribbon and die cut a deer using a Sizzix mover die and point cut the end.
     The DL card blank is pale blue which goes rather well with the ribbon. After sticking the ribbon to the card it looked a little dull, so I have used a silver glitter pen and drawn around the edge on the ribbon to give it a tiny bit of sparkle.
     There are three little snowflake peel offs stuck on the ribbon to add a little winter theme. The greeting down the side is also a peel off, I had to cheat and use a peel off as I can't find my one and only vertical  greeting stamp.....ahhhhh!
     The corners are rounded off on the card because one was a little bit bent,  this was a good way to tidy it up. I shall stick the cut out deer inside the card with the verse when I get it ready to send.
     Please pop over to The Male Room and have a look at all the inspiration there, the DT have been very busy.

Monday 24 November 2014

Snowflake Gift Box

      Welcome to the Monday project for Creative Expressions, again I have chosen to make a non card project. This gift box would go quite well with the One Layer Bauble card from two weeks ago, so not only can you make a special card for someone but you can make a special gift box too.

     Begin by trimming an A4 sheet of pearl card to measure 8 inches by 11.5 inches. Lay the card horizontally on your score board, if you don't have one just mark both ends of the line and hand score with a ruler and a ball tool, score at 1.5 inches, 5 inches, 6.5 inches and 10 inches. Turn the card to vertical and score at 1.5 inches and 6.5 inches.
     Cut from the edge to the first score line to form flaps as per the photograph.
     Run your scored card through your embossing machine in an A4 folder, this one is Snowflake Lattice.  
     If you wish you can round off the two corners that will be at the back of your lid. Try folding your box without using any glue to check you are happy with it, this will help you decide which end will be your lid.
     Once the decision is made mark the mid point on the inside of the lid and use a medium circle punch to cut out a semi-circle, this will form the thumb hole for easy opening.

     Now that all the snips and trims are done it is time to assemble the box. Using Cosmic Shimmer PVA dries clear glue stick the tabs on the inside of the sides to bring the box into shape. Make sure you check as you go so as not to make mistakes and glue the middle tab to the lid! (How do I know this?...guess!)

     Once the box is made you can begin to decorate it. I have used Cosmic Shimmer Aqua Twinkles in the middle of every snowflake on the top and sides of the lid only. Don't put it on the inside edges as this will stop your box closing neatly.
     For the snowflake I have used Snowflakes and Sprigs stamp set and stamped both large and medium snowflakes embossed with Cosmic Shimmer Silver Shine. Both snowflakes are cut out, cutting right to the edge is fine with Cosmic Shimmer as it doesn't crack easily.
    Mount the medium snowflake on the large one with a foam pad, put a clear gem in the middle.
     Cut a small tag from matching cardstock, stamp a Christmas greeting and emboss in Silver Shine. Run the Perfect Medium ink pad along the edges of the tag and use Silver Shine again to frame it. Use a small length of silver ribbon on the tag, enough to reach under the snowflake decoration.
     Mount the snowflake on foam pads, making sure the ribbon from the tag is underneath when you attach it to the box.

   Materials Used  
Snowflakes & Sprigs stamp set
Snowflake Lattice A4 Embossing Folder
Cosmic Shimmer dries clear PVA glue
CS Aqua Twinkles
CS Silver Shine embossing powder
Perfect Medium

I would like to enter this gift box in the following challenges:
Nutcrafters - Anything But A Card
Not Just Cards - Anything Goes

Thursday 20 November 2014

Bootiful Norfolk Turkeys

     Great for Thanksgiving or for Christmas, these little turkeys can be used for place markers on your festive table.
     We are busy making them for the school Christmas bazaar, a little something the children can buy with their pocket money.
     The original idea came from Tim Holtz a couple of years ago but it's something I like to make every year. You can be as fancy as you like with the decoration, these ones are quite simple.
     Begin by cutting a large rosette, a medium rosette and a small rosette with the Sizzix strip Rosette dies. Tim had a download for the head shape on his blog but that was about two years ago, I'm sure a search would find it again.
     If you wish to stamp your rosettes do so before folding, it's much easier. I have used the brown folders you can get to go inside hanging files to keep paperwork tidy, nice and affordable plus not too thick to bend.
     Make all three rosettes, keeping a large rosette centre spare for the base. When gluing the rosettes together make sure you do this with them standing up so you get the staggered top and a level base. Glue the rosette tail to the base allowing a space at the front for the head to be stuck on. I have used my ever popular Cosmic Shimmer PVA glue to make the turkeys, it's quite strong and sets quickly so you don't have to hold on to it for ages.
     To make them into place markers add a cocktail stick with a name tag on the top by tucking it into the turkeys tail, these don't have them so that they are safe for small children.
     Strictly speaking these are Suffolk turkeys, the border is a mile down the road. For those of you not familiar with the term Bootiful, it was used by Bernard Matthews who was a Norfolk turkey breeder and it became his catch phrase.

I would like to enter my Bootiful Turkeys in the following challenges:
Cut It Up - Let's Talk Turkey
Try It On Tuesday - Home Made / Hand Made
Cuttin' and Stampin' - Thanksgiving
Die Cuttin' Divas - Thanksgiving
Craft Your Passion - Pumpkins or Turkeys
Dies R Us - Anything Goes Christmas

Monday 17 November 2014

Pyramid Pear Trees

     Welcome to another Creative Expressions project, this time I have chosen to make a festive decoration rather than a card.  These trees make great table decorations, as they are not very tall you can see over the top of them.  The different sizes all stack inside each other for easy storage if you choose to keep them rather than let your dinner guests take them home.

      Using a banner/pennant die cut three identical shapes, this will make one tree. You may wish to make a four sided tree, the construction principal is the same.
      Score along the two long sides of the triangle to help with folding after you have embossed. There is no need to score the bottom as this will not be folded.
      Use an anti-static bag to wipe over your card before stamping with Perfect Medium and sprinkling with embossing powder.
     The small green tree is stamped with the music background from the Partridge In A Pear Tree set and then embossed with Cosmic Shimmer Bright Gold embossing powder.
     The medium tree is Foundations Vintage Gold card stamped with a script stamp and embossed in Cosmic Shimmer Golden Meadow Blaze.

      For the large tree I have used Foundations Card Taupe, from the neutral multi pack. The branch is from the Partridge set and I have used the Golden Meadow embossing powder again. You can see in this photo the difference between melted and unmelted, the magic happens when heated.
     I usually heat from below as this gives a nice smooth melt, heating from above can sometimes give a tiny dimpled effect.

      The sentiments are all embossed in Bright Gold, the partridge and pears are embossed in Cosmic Shimmer Ancient Copper.
     Once all stamping is done gently fold along the score lines and glue the sides together along the little folded edge with Cosmic Shimmer dries clear PVA. If some of the edges appear a little messy then put glue down the edges and sprinkle with glitter to disguise it.
     Cosmic Shimmer embossing powder does not crack easily, fold gently and it should not fall off.

      The pears come as one stamp in the set, I have cut the stamp apart carefully, but I have not trimmed them. This is so that I can put them back together again as one stamp if I wish, once joined on an acrylic block they will stamp as if they were one again. I have also done this with the partridge, who comes attached to the 'and a partridge' sentiment. It's a way of getting more out of your stamps and they can be used more easily than trying to mask bits off.
     These trees are something that could be made with children as long as they are supervised during cutting and heating, you could leave out the heat embossing altogether and use mica powders instead. Medium sized trees as place cards for a large family dinner would be something different.

     I do hope you enjoy making these trees, please let me know how you get on. I do read all my comments and I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.

Materials Used 
Partridge In A Pear Tree stamp set
Perfect Medium Ink Pad
Cosmic Shimmer Embossing Powders - Bright Gold / Ancient Copper / Golden Meadow Blaze
Foundations Card - Taupe / Vintage Gold   (green from stash)
Cosmic Shimmer Dries Clear PVA Glue

I would like to enter these trees in the following challenges:
The Artistic Stamper - Christmas Is Coming
Challenge Blog By Creative Shopping - Christmas Tree
Allsorts - Anything BUT A Card
Anything But A Card - Anything Goes
Crafting Musketeers - Anything BUT A Card

Saturday 15 November 2014

Snowman In Distressed Jeans

     For my mid month inspiration at CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra I chose to raid my stash of toppers. I have a small box of toppers that I have made either at demo's or craft club meets just waiting to be mounted onto cards.
     This little chap is an Inkadinkado stamp that's just perfect for another mask and distress image. The snowman is stamped on to plain white card, then again on to a sticky note. Cut out the snowman on the sticky note, minus his arms (it's OK, it doesn't hurt him) and the scarf fringe, place this mask over the stamped image on the card.
     Tear a strip of paper to make another mask, this time for the snowdrifts. place the paper strip across your card and begin to colour the card with Distress Ink Faded Jeans, move the mask down and colour again but this time with a little less ink and a little less pressure. Repeat this again, making sure you leave the lower area white.
     Spritz the card with water and dab off with a clean piece of kitchen towel, this will give you the snowflake effect.
     Remove the mask from your snowman and allow the card to dry. Once dry colour in the hat and scarf. Mount on a small layer of silver card and then on to a decorated card blank.
     This card blank has been stamped with a selection of snowflakes in blues and silver, making a random pattern, you only need to stamp the edge that will be seen
      This year I am a little behind with my Christmas cards so having a topper stash box is proving to be very useful. I hope you like this little fellow, he has a few friends waiting their turn in the box so you may see them pop up from time to time.
      Please pop over and take a look at the DT mid month inspiration at CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra, come and join us with your creations.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Crafty Catz Weekly Challenges - Christmas Is Coming
Jingle Belles - The Great Outdoors

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Time In The Male Room

     A new challenge begins today at The Male Room, our theme this fortnight is Time.
     This card has been made with Creative Expressions stamp set Time and a Couture embossing folder, also called Time.
     I have embossed cream card and then used Distress Ink Brushed Corduroy to colour the raised areas and the edges. The whole embossed card and the quote panel have been spritzed with a gold mica spray made with water and mica powder in the tiny bottle that comes with a Cosmic Shimmer mica set.
     The clock face is on the same embossing folder, this time embossed in gold mirri card and stamped with a crackle background before colouring in the numbers with an alcohol marker.
     Once cut out and decorated the hands have been put on with a small brad, the hands are a Sizzix thinlit die cut in gold card and coloured black.
     The quote panel is stamped in Archival Sepia and clear embossed, there is a watch cog stuck to the corner. The embossed layer is mounted on chocolate pearl card, then cream, then back on to chocolate again, after all you can never have enough chocolate!
     As there is no greeting on this card it could be used for any occasion, even a retirement card.
     Please pop over and join us with your interpretation of 'Time', we would love to it at The Male Room.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Cupcake Inspirations - Photo Inspiration (Autumn Colours)
(PIN)spirational Challenge - Photo Inspiration (Colours)

Monday 10 November 2014

One Layer Bauble....well almost!

     Welcome to my second project for the Creative Expressions design team, I have had some fun visiting old techniques and trying a new one, I hope you like the outcome.
     I love a large and beautifully decorated Christmas card but when we have so many family and friends living overseas it can be very expensive, so I have chosen to make a 'postage friendly' card. It's almost one layer, I had to add a small bow, it just didn't look right without one. It's only 5 3/4 inches square so it should fit through the little gauge they have at the post office as an ordinary letter.

   As I wanted to use Distress Ink and create a snowflake effect I made my card blank from Coconut white cardstock, this card works beautifully with Distress Inks. I have tried others, some work and sadly some do not. I would suggest that once you find a card that works for you keep a small piece and write what it's called and where you got it from and keep it somewhere safe.
    Place your die shape on the inside of the card front and tape it in place. DO NOT CUT the shape, just emboss and you will get three lines on your card like this.
     Remove the die and use it again to cut the same shape from a sheet of copy paper or thin card. Keep BOTH pieces, these will be used as masks.
     Place the paper with the hole in carefully over your embossed shape and tape down with low tack tape.
     To create the snow scene you will need to tear another piece of paper with a sloping edge to act as your mask for the snow drifts. Place this torn strip across the top third of the hole and using Distress Ink Chipped Sapphire colour in the shape.
     Move the torn strip down and change the angle, this time only colour along the edge of the strip to make a shadow effect. Do this one more time further down the shape changing the angle again.
    To get the snowflake effect spritz water on your clean fingers and flick it at the card, leave for a few seconds and watch the ink lift away from your card. Dab the water off with a clean piece of tissue, you will now have snowflakes falling, this is the beauty of working with Distress Ink, they react with water to create great effects as long as it's on the right card.

     Remove your masks carefully and allow to dry. Stamp the tree from the Snowflakes and Sprigs set using Archival Ink Cobalt Blue on your snow scene. Add a tiny shadow under the tree with a little Chipped sapphire on a damp paintbrush.
     To get the silver border around the shape place the die back over the shape and draw around it carefully.
     Now you will need the paper shape you cut earlier when you made your mask, place this over the scene to protect it while you stamp the snowflakes.  Dust  your card with an anti-static bag, this will help reduce any areas that might pick up the mica where you don't want it. Using Perfect Medium Ink and the small snowflake from the same stamp set, stamp at random over your card, leaving the bottom right corner clear. Now stamp your greeting in the bottom right corner with the same ink, I have used a stamp from the Winter Greetings set.
     Once all stamping is done dust the card with Cosmic Shimmer Mica Powder Silver, this will stick to your stamped images, dust off excess powder with a large fluffy brush. If you have some mica where you don't want it this can be removed with a soft rubber. I use a battery powered rubber, it spins which allows you to be very acurate with it. I have also given the card a light dusting of hairspray to fix the mica.
     The bauble needs a bow, I have used a bow that's on the top of a different bauble stamp also by Creative Expressions. Stamp and emboss two bows with Cosmic Shimmer Silver Shine. Cut out the bows, there is no need to leave a border around the embossing because Cosmic Shimmer doesn't crack when you cut close to it. Cut one full bow and one with no tails, turn over the no tail part and gently stretch the card with a large ball tool to give it shape. Paint the bows with Cosmic Shimmer Drawing Ink Blue Midnight and assemble, attach to the top of the bauble.

     To decorate the inside of the card use the small snowflake again with the Archival Ink Cobalt Blue and stamp around the edge of the card.
     Stamp the greeting, which is also from the Winter Greeting set, in the same ink on the centre of the card.
     You could also add a snowflake to the envelope for that little extra decoration.

Materials Used
Snowflakes and Sprigs stamp set
Winter Greetings stamp set
Spellbinder Heirloom Ornament Die
Cosmic Shimmer Embossing Powder - Silver Shine
Cosmic Shimmer Mica Powder - Silver
Cosmic Shimmer Drawing Ink - Blue Midnight (Garden Set)
Perfect Medium
Archival Ink - Cobalt Blue
Coconut White Cardstock

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge - Keep It Flat
My Perfect Life - Any Christmas Card
Stamping Sensations - Christmas
Crafty Calendar - Christmas
Christmas Cards All Year Round - No Patterned Paper
Christmas Stampin' All Year Long - Anything Goes

Saturday 8 November 2014

Let It Shine

     I am honoured to join Inkspirational this fortnight as a guest designer. The challenge  is a word prompt - Shine, so for me it had to be another acetate and glitter card.
     This post is a bit photograph heavy because I've done a little tutorial on this technique, read on and you'll discover it's not as tricky as it looks.....honest.
     As with most things that shine taking pictures is troublesome so please forgive the quality of some of the pictures, it really does look better 'in the card' .  

     I would suggest you choose a simple design without too many tiny fiddly areas that need to be filled in.
      Using Stazon stamp your chosen image on to the acetate. The trick with this is to stamp firmly straight down and don't wiggle, just lift straight back up again. If it goes wrong don't worry, just use Stazon cleaner to wipe it away and try again.
     If you really don't want to stamp then use a peel off instead, put the peel off on the front of your acetate just like a stamped image.
      Turn your acetate over as all the glitter will be added on the back. Put a sheet of paper underneath the acetate so you can see where you are working clearly.
     The best glue I have used for this technique is Art Glitter, it dries clear and holds the glitter very well. If you don't have any of this glue try what you do have on a scrap of acetate to see if it holds the glitter once dry.
      Work in small areas using one colour of glitter at a time. The glue will dry slowly as there is no absorption into the acetate, this gives you a little more time to work.
     Make sure you dust off all of the glitter before beginning on another colour.
      Once the glue is completely covered with glitter and the excess removed you can move on to another colour, there is no need to wait until it's completely dry, just be careful not to cross contaminate colours.
     The glue comes with a fine tip but I have bought a metal fine tip cover to make sure it always comes out in a tiny trail. When filling areas on the acetate you may notice it shrinks back from the edges sometimes, just go back and add a little more to the edges but don't go over them.

      A large area like this bauble will take longer to dry. As you can see in this picture the small holly and berry areas are already drying clear to show the glitter.
      This is not something you can speed up with a heat gun, but leaving it on a radiator should not harm it.
      To give somewhere to write your greeting you will need to add a backing to your glittered image. I usually add a dark colour to show off the glitter, but for this one I would have lost the string holding the bauble had I used black.
      Something Christmas like.......silver mirri. To fix the mirri card to the acetate I have glued it on the glittered areas, this is because I have tried glue dots, tape and micro dots in the past but they all show through the acetate. The glue took ages to dry because it was sandwiched between two non porous surfaces, again the radiator and a few hours proved all it needed.
     Once completely dry I added the greeting to the reverse of the mirri card and that's it, finished. I like working with acetate in this way, it makes the image look like it's floating. The only draw back is taking photographs of something so very shiny is not easy.
     I hope this has all made sense, if not then please let me know. Thank you to Inkspirational for the chance to guest design for them, please join them this time with your shiny creations.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Moving Along With The Times - Sparkle and/or Shine
Creative Moments - Anything Goes Celebration
Crafty Sentiments Designs - Make It Sparkle
Creative Card Crew - Christmas Joy

Monday 3 November 2014

The Golden Pear

     Here is my first DT project for Creative Expressions, I hope you like it. I shall be back every week with a new project featuring the great products available from Creative Expressions that you can buy in your local craft shop.
     Today I am working with the 'Partridge In A Pear Tree' stamp set. there are twelve stamps in this set, I have only used three for this project so there are more possibilities to come.
     I began by using the tiny pear background stamp to create a full background on cream card. For this I used Distress Inks Scattered Straw and Forrest Moss, stamping in a regular pattern to fill the sheet of card.
     I have used Distress Ink Crushed Olive to colour the edges of a white card blank so that it matches my chosen focal point card. The large pear is stamped on green card and embossed with Cosmic Shimmer Bright Gold.
     The frame is cut using a Spellbinder die Captivating Squares and antique gold card. The pear is mounted on the gold card and then mounted on foam pads on to the background card.
     My favourite part of this card is the little Partridge, he is stamped on Kraft card and embossed in Cosmic Shimmer Clear. I then used a white gel pen to colour him, along with brown, black and red alcohol markers, the markers work very well on top of the embossed areas allowing detail to be added. He is then fussy cut and mounted on foam pads, one on his head and two on his body to keep him level.
     To finish off my card I have added tiny yellow gems in the corners to give a little Christmas sparkle.
     Thank you for calling in, I hope you enjoyed my first creation for Creative Expressions, I hope to see you again soon.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Jingle Belles - Feature A Creature
The Artistic Stamper - Christmas Is Coming
Crafty Calender - It's All About Christmas

Saturday 1 November 2014

Santa's In The House...Of Cards

     Welcome to the House Of Cards November edition. We've changed things around a little this month to make sure you get to see all the DT inspiration at the beginning of the month, with a reminder of the different styles each week. We have all worked to the same sketch, you should see the variety that has been generated, it never fails to amaze me how many different cards can be made from one idea, you crafters are amazingly talented people!
     I have tried to use everything from stash for this card. I thought if I used up some of what I have here already Father Christmas wouldn't mind bringing me a few new items, that's probably as good as I'm going to get!
     The backing paper is something I bought so long ago I can't remember where. I cut it to fit my 5x7 white card blank, leaving a small border all the way around. The card blank has been coloured with Distress Ink Festive Berries to give me that lovely red. Before sticking the backing paper on it has been distressed with DI Old Paper to tone it down a bit.

     The green strip of card has been cut with a Martha Stewart holly punch down both sides, then the centre has been embossed with a small strip folder that came free with a magazine. To finish it off I have added a couple of gold strip peel offs.
     The Santa face is from a pack of Victorian style scraps that have sat in my stash for years, some of them are a bit scary but this one looks happy. It was a bit thin so I stuck it on to thin card and cut it out, then mounted it on the card with foam pads.
     The greeting is cream card cut with a Spellbinder die and distressed with DI Old Paper while the die was still on it, this gives a clean border to the shape, I have then added a gold peel off greeting and mounted it on foam pads.
     Please come over to the House Of Cards and take a look at all the different cards, not all Christmas, to see what sparks your imagination.

    For those of you who love to make festive cards all year round there is a new challenge starting in January called CASE-ing Christmas, come and join us and get ahead with your cards for next year.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
CraftyHazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - Must Use Patterned Paper
Christmas Card Challenges - Anything Goes
Holly Jolly Christmas - Bingo (Texture, 2 Designer Papers, Punch)