Wednesday 28 October 2015

Bottle Top Baubles

     This fortnight at The Male Room we would like to see your masculine creations made using 'hardware' e.g. brads, eyelets, charms. etc.  As Christmas is not too far away I chose to make a Christmas card that carries it's own present in the form of two bottle top baubles, these can be removed from the card and hung on the tree.
      These bottle tops are from a pack of new tops I had in my stash, you could just as easily make these with used ones once they've had a wash.
     Place your bottle tops in a basic sandwich of base plate and two clear plates (Bigshot), like you would for an embossing folder, and roll.
     I was a little cautious at first but they squash very well giving you a great metal disc to decorate.
      Using PVA I glued around the ridge on my tops and covered with silver glitter. Next I stamped  a snowflake on white card and embossed it in silver, adding a tiny blue gem to the centre. The next one was the word Noel stamped on to patterned paper and embossed in silver.
     Then both images were die cut, these measure approx 7/8ths of an inch, this will vary depending on your bottle top.

      The image discs were glued in place and allowed to dry. Once dry I filled the recess with Glossy Accents and left them to dry overnight.
     Each top has another card disc on the back which is stuck firmly over the silver thread which they will hang by. You could write a tiny message on them just for the recipient.
     The baubles are hung from a die cut pine branch edged with Distress Ink Faded Jeans, which is mounted on foam pads on a snowfall textured background.
     I was going to dry emboss the background with the words but in my haste to do this I mistakenly embossed the whole card blank! Not wishing to waste the blank I decided to use it as is and snowfall the front panel instead.
     Doing this meant that it would be hard to write on so I die cut a bauble shape from plain white card and stuck it over the back of the blank after colouring it blue, now there is somewhere to write and the greeting is peeping through the bauble die cut, disaster averted!
     The baubles are hung on the branch and fixed on the card with blue tac so that they will come off easily, I shall add a small note in the card to let the recipient know this.

Materials list - available from your  local craft shop
                                          Glossy Accents
                                          Snowflake and 'Noel' - from clear stamp sets.

Stix2 Anything -  Iridescent Glitter
                         Silver Glitter
                         PVA Glue
                         Redline Tape

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
A Snowflakes Promise - Christmas/Winter
Christmas Card Challenges - Anything Goes
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra - Anything Christmas

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Ringing Pink

     Here's something a little different, I don't use these colours very often but I think it's turned out quite well. It's Breast Cancer Awareness at Jingle Bells Challenge this month, they donate money for every pink card entered in the challenge making it a very good reason to go pink!
     The stamp is from Woodware and the sparkly bits from Stix2, there's a materials list at the end of the post.
     The card was coloured using Koi watercolour pens and acetate sheets. On one sheet scribble with the pens, starting with the palest colour first, then spritz with water. Place the other sheet on top to make a sandwich, then pull apart to reveal coloured splodges, place your card on to the splodges and you have a patterned background (well two actually as you can use both sheets of acetate). Once done wipe the acetate clean ready for next time.
     When the background has dried stamp the image using Versafine Black ink, then use the Koi pens to colour in the design. The pattern on the background will show through a little but I think it adds to the design.
     After colouring stamp the bell part of the design on to sparkly acetate and cut them out. Stick this sparkly layer over the bells to make them sparkle and shine. The other decorations on the design are made using Stix2 glue dots and glitters, foils and micro beads.
     The sparkly black card has been punched out of an A4 sheet using a lattice punch by Woodware, this punch can be used as a complete lattice or as an edge just by moving a button across to block part of the cutting process, it sounds complicated but it really isn't.
     To mount the image I used Black card and then white card coloured with an alcohol marker that would match the colours in the design. I often use white card coloured around the edge that will be seen, this way I can get my mat layers to tone in perfectly with my design.
Materials list - available from your  local craft shop
Woodware Craft Collection - FRS291 Christmas Bells clear stamp
                                          Koi Watercolour Pens
                                          CP19-02 Ribbon Border - Pointelle punch
                                          Watercolour card

Stix2 Anything - Stardust Glitter Card - Black
                        Sparkly Acetate
                        Glue Dots 3mm & 6mm
                        Seed Bead and Fine Glitter packs
                        Shiny Transfer foil

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Jingle Belles - Pink Christmas
ABC Christmas - Unusual Colours

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Holiday Deer

     Making holiday cards for people of other beliefs can be tricky, but not with this stamp set from MHK Designs, there are two greetings that don't mention Christmas and a winter picture.
     The set is called Holiday Deer and has a gorgeous picture and a mix of greetings for the season.    
     The picture was printed in brown on to thin cream card and then distressed with Old Paper Distress Ink, a crackle stamp and a splodge stencil. All this added to a torn edge really makes it look vintage which is what I wanted for this image.
     The beauty of a digital image is being able to change the size and even the colour if you play around with a photo package or just the settings on your printer.
      The image is mounted on a die cut layer of pearlescent chocolate card cut using a Spellbinder die set called Mega Curved Rectangles. The gold layer is made by drawing around the outside of the die and hand cutting, this is because the next size up was too big, I only wanted a small gold outline. The last layer is the same cream card as the image but not distressed.
     A Kraft card blank was stamped with a pine branch and Archival Ink Coffee before adding the image layers. The greeting was die cut using a Sizzix die Fancy Charms, I used a gold pen to colour a small edge around the shape before mounting it on foam pads across the bottom of the card.  
    In the top corner I have added some die cut pine branches and a couple of fir cones. This style would also make a great masculine holiday card, just change the greeting to a Christmas one if you wish.

Pop over to MHK Designs Facebook page or MHK Designs On A Stampage for a chance to win a stamp set.

I would like to enter my Holiday Deer in the following challenges:
ABC Christmas - Unusual Christmas Colours
Christmas Card Challenges - Photo Inspiration
52 Christmas Card Throwdown - In The Wild Woods
A Snowflakes Promise - Winter / Christmas

Monday 19 October 2015

Spooky Treats

     With Halloween fast approaching MHK Designs have released some great digital stamp sets and backing papers to help you create something spooky.

    The images have been reduced to fit within the smallest Spellbinder Pumpkin die in the set. Each one has been coloured with Distress Ink before being removed from the die so it has a little white border.  That's the beauty of digital stamps, you can make them whatever size you need.
     All the images came from Spooky and Flight by Night stamp sets.
      The little boxes are self closing so little fingers shouldn't get hurt trying to get the treats out. The instructions for these can be found here on You Tube.
     These boxes are made from one sheet of A4 thin card, printed using a backing paper from the Trick or Treat set. Four boxes from one sheet will each hold approximately three wrapped sweets, so it all works out at a reasonable price.
      Each die cut pumpkin shape is stuck on to the box with a sticky foam pad in the centre, so as the box is popped open the pumpkin doesn't bend.

     There is a Facebook page for MHK Designs which will show you all the amazing designs available, not just Halloween. You can showcase your own creations on the page and chat to the designer too.

I would like to enter these little boxes in the following challenges:
Robyns Fetish - More than two pumpkins (each box has 1 front & 1 back)
Crafty Calendar - Halloween

Monday 12 October 2015

Magical Hot Glue

     We may not celebrate Halloween very much in this country but I couldn't pass up the chance to play with dark and creepy bits and bobs, it makes a change from butterflies and flowers.

      This is an idea I saw on Pinterest and thought it was so quick and easy but so effective, having all the bits in my stash already made it even more appealing.
     I could only find two chopsticks in the cupboard otherwise I would have made more. I had a skull bead and a small white tigers head that came off a broken toy, a hot glue gun and some beads.
      The heads were stuck on first using the hot glue, then for the skull wand I just trailed a string of glue around the chopstick and ended it with a series of loops around the stick.
     The tigers head was stuck on first then a band of hot glue that was quickly covered with micro beads in red and gold.I let this start to set then added another band of glue which I rolled in seed beads, once the glue started to set I gently pushed the beads into the glue, be careful when you do this as it's very hot and will burn you.The rest of the stick was covered in hot glue with a band in the centre and another bead band at the bottom of the handle.
     I left the wands standing in a jam jar to set hard, the glue goes cloudy again once it's set. Once set firm I painted the wand handles with acrylic paint. The skull wand was painted with brown acrylic, once dry it was coloured with bronze gilding wax on the flat areas and gold wax on the rope like strand. The finishing touch for this wand was to add tiny gems to the eye sockets.
     The tiger wand was painted white, I left the micro beads as they were but painted the seed beads. The centre band has gold gilding wax on it but the two smooth areas either side have pearl wax on them. The seed beads have been painted with a thin layer of PVA glue and then dusted with iridescent glitter making this wand a little more feminine.

     If you wish to make these wands with children they should be supervised at all times as this glue is very hot and can burn, maybe you could add the glue for them and let them decorate the cold wand.
     There are so many things you can do with hot glue that my Stix2 Anything glue gun is no longer put away but sits proudly on it's very own chopping board on the edge of my desk just waiting for the next project.

I would like to enter these wands in the following challenges:
Eclectic Ellapu - Halloween / Dark / Horror
That Craft Place - Halloween
Through The Purple Haze - Halloween / Magical

Monday 5 October 2015

New England Snowfall

        When I saw Asha's card it looked familiar, then I remembered I have a stamp from the same range so CASE-ing Christmas this month was even more fun than usual.

      I stamped the house from Chocolate Baroque onto plain white card and stamped a mask onto sticky notes aswell.  After cutting out the mask and covering my house I stamped snowflakes using Versamark and clear embossed them.
     I tore a piece of paper to make another mask to go across the bottom of my card and coloured the sky with Distress Inks Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire and Dusty Concorde.
     Once coloured the sky was spritzed with water and blotted, then spritzed with a water and pearl mica mixture to make it sparkle.
     The mask at the bottom was moved down and across slightly, then I used Faded Jeans to create another snow bank but kept it pale.
     The house is coloured in using watercolour pencils and a water brush, the small tree has a gold garland wrapped around it which was made with a gold glitter pen. The large tree has red glitter decoration made using Stickles, the snowflakes also have a small clear Stickle centre to them.
     The greeting is from another Chocolate Baroque set stamped in Archival Cobalt and clear embossed. It is all mounted on a piece of white card that has had the edge coloured blue with an alcohol marker then it's on a 7x5 white card blank. Small and thin enough for standard postage but still with a little sparkle for the season.
     Come and take a look at Asha's card at CASE-ing Christmas, visit the Design Team to see what they were inspired to create and then come and join us with your project and you could win a prize in our random draw on the 25th of October.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Christmas Card Challenges - Anything Goes

Pretty In Pink

     This card has been made for a special young lady on her special day. The items used are from Creative Expressions.

     Fold two sheets of the 8x8 inserts collection as shown in the photo. This is an idea I first saw several years ago, it's based on an origami fold you can watch here on You-tube.
     I used a piece of white card to make the hinge but I coloured the area that would be seen with an alcohol marker. I stuck some pink ribbon into the gap on the sides before sticking the sides down so the card can be tied shut for presentation.
     Inside the card I have used white card coloured pink again to create the base for the die cut squares, both white squares are mounted on gold paper.
     The greeting square has been stamped and embossed with Bright Gold then coloured with Distress Ink Spun Sugar. There will be a photograph on the right hand panel before I give it to Em.
     The white panel that is on the insert paper is ideal for the decorative panel, using the small stamps in the Butterfly Montage Collection I stamped in Distress Inks Spun Sugar, Seedless Preserve and Brilliance Gold to create foliage that would poke out behind the die cut panel.
     The flowers and butterflies are stamped and embossed in clear, then fussy cut and glued on to the card, the flowers have a tiny gem in the middle to add sparkle.
     21 is die cut from the same gold paper used to back all of the square panels. This front panel has also been coloured with Spun Sugar then mounted on foam pads above the foliage.

Materials used
Phil Martin Graceful Butterflies & Dragonflies 8x8 Insert Collection pad
PM stamps - Butterfly Montage Collection
John Lockwood stamp set - Flower Hearts Elements (greeting)
CE Embossing Powder - Clear / Bright Gold
Distress Ink - Spun Sugar / Seedless Preserve
Sue Wilson Die -  Madison Square

Thursday 1 October 2015

Autumn At The House Of Cards

      Autumn has arrived at the House Of Cards. This month we would like you to use our photo for inspiration, add texture and/or use the colour palette.
      This card has a background of Kraft card embossed with an autumn leaf design, it was then coloured with several different gilding waxes and buffed to a subtle shine.
     The large pumpkin is a Sixxiz die, the small ones are a Cuttlebug die that has an embossing folder with it.
     The pumpkins are coloured with a mix of Distress inks and alcohol markers after being cut from orange pearl and green card.
     The largest pumpkin is stuck flat onto the backing but the others are mounted on foam pads to give dimension.
     The mat is a layer of chocolate pearl card which is then stuck on to an olive green card blank.  I have not added a greeting as yet, this will be done when I have decided what to use it for.

     Come and join us at the House Of Cards, we have lots of inspiration for you that will be showcased each week, we would love to see your take on our photo.

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Creative Moments - Autumn Colours

Solar Sparkle Ball

     Here is something a little different for Altered Eclectics this month, it's an idea I saw on You-Tube and thought I just had to make one.

     To make the ball you will need 50 clear plastic cups and a pack of 50 LED lights, mine are solar powered and came from a local discount shop. The ball made on You-Tube had slightly more tapered cups, mine were a little too slim so I had to add a shot glass between each cup.
     The cups need to have a hole drilled in the bottom so the led light will go through it, I've used a hand drill that used to be Dad's.

     Each cup has been stapled to the next, starting with a centre band of 10 cups and building one half of the ball, then the second half ball was made. With both halves laying next to each other push one light through each cup hole, then carefully join both halves making sure not to staple the cable.
     The finished ball is perched on top of a tree stump in a pot with the solar panel tucked beside it.
     During daylight hours it doesn't look as good but it does raise some interest with visitors. The lights last well into late evening at the moment, the front porch is south facing so it should be good for a while, it's also sheltered from the rain.
    Come and join us at Altered Eclectics with your creations, we like altered art and handcrafted items, anything but a card or an ATC.

I would like to enter this sparkle ball in the following challenges:
613 Avenue Create - Anything Goes (optional Sapphire - change white lights for blue)
Decorate To Celebrate - Party Decoration  (would look great with flashing lights)