Sunday 29 September 2019

Lavender Box

     Another project using John Next Door's new dies, this time a lavender box to hang with your clothes.
     I started by die cutting the centre lattice from the Avonmore set in a piece of blue card, then I worked around it to measure enough card to make a small, shallow box before cutting anything else.
     Once happy with all the measurements I cut the shape out using a knife and cutting mat, with scissors to trim the tabs, next I used a ball tool to score along all the fold lines.
     It was much easier to stick the silver pearls on to the lattice while the box was flat.
     The lavender would fall out through the lattice if it was loose, so I kept it in the little organza bag it came in but I did have to flatten it to fit, this meant folding the top over and stapling it closed. The bag is fixed to the card inside with redline tape.
     I had planned to leave the lid free to open but that didn't work too well, so once the base was built I glued the lid shut.
    The front looked nice but the corners needed a little something, too late to stamp so a quick rummage in the peel off stash and out came some tiny silver corners.
    The flower is made using some dark blue pearl thin card and the new Cornflower die. A small silver pearl in the centre to tie in with the lattice decoration over a black stamen cluster and it was ready to go on the box.
     Using the Elderflower die I cut some light green foliage, this leaf is lovely but it really pops when you colour the tips of the fronds, I chose white this time. A small rose leaf tucked under the flower as well finished off the front decoration.
     To be able to hang the box I added a small length of blue ribbon to the back, fixing it in place with red line tape and then covering the tape with a die cut panel, this panel was cut using the frame die for the lattice panel.   
     This reminds me of my Grandmother, she grew lavender and used it in her wardrobe to keep things fresh, it was in little muslin bags. So this is a paper craft version of an old tradition, vintage with a twist.

Materials List    Available from your local craft shop
JND108 - Avonmore Die
JND115 - Cornflower Die     (Cornflower Stamp JND116 - not used on this project)
JNDAD016 - Elderflower Dies
JNDAD015 - Rose Leaves Die set

I would like to enter this project in the following challenges:
A Vintage Journey - Box It Up
Creative Fingers - Anything Goes
Lemon Shortbread - Anything Goes

Thursday 26 September 2019

Vellum Cornflowers

     This card was made using the new John Next Door Cornflower and Avonmore dies, along with a few of his other dies.
      The cornflower is quite delicate but still strong enough to shape whether you cut it in foam, card or vellum.
     I used an A5 piece of plain vellum and coloured it with Izink dye ink 'Nuit', it's a gorgeous blue that looks just perfect for a cornflower. The ink was dabbed all over the vellum and left to dry.
     I folded the vellum in half and die cut it as a double thickness, it seems to work better this way if the product you're cutting is thin.
     The die will cut out two petals of three different sizes, I have used two petals per flower. The die also cuts three stamens, one for each size, the stamens are coloured with a black alcohol marker.
     Each petal set was worked gently with a ball tool to give it some shape. I stuck the stamens in each flower, then added a small pearl that has been coloured with the new black Glitter Touch.
     Once all the flowers were made I die cut some black foliage using the  Elderflower die and some dark blue Rose Leaves, the rose leaves are coloured around the edge with black ink and then shaped with a ball tool.
     To make the card I cut a piece of Mouse Grey card large enough to give me a mat layer and then die cut the Avonmore lattice in the middle. I then used the lattice edge to cut a hole in a piece of white card that would be large enough to form another mat layer, this was white card which I then coloured with the same ink pad as the flowers so it would match perfectly.
     The final layer was just a wide white frame to go on top. The white showing through the lattice was alright but I wanted something a little more outstanding so I used the lattice part of the die to 'quilt' some silver mirri card. Quilting is when you use a die to emboss card rather than cut it, for this you will need some kind of embossing mat to go through your machine, it takes the place of the plate that you would normally cut onto.
     With a much better centre I began to assemble the card, it looks like it has many more layers than it does but by doing it this way it will weigh less and be a bit thinner, perfect for posting.
     Base card assembled meant all that was left were the flowers. I placed several on the card and kept moving them around until happy with their position. Then I started to play with the foliage, tucking it under the flowers until happy with it all. I have found in the past that it's best to take a photo of the layout before taking it all off to stick it down with glue, just in case you get distracted and forget where they were.
     Once finished I decided it didn't need a greeting on the outside, that could be added later when required. Using vellum for the flowers gave them a more realistic look and being able to colour plain vellum with dye inks means a wide range of colours is readily available.

Materials List    Available from your local craft shop
JND108 - Avonmore Die
JND115 - Cornflower Die     (Cornflower Stamp JND116 - not used on this project)
JNDAD016 - Elderflower Dies
JNDAD015 - Rose Leaves Die set
CAT005 -Glitter Touch Basics  (Black, Clear, Green)
I-zink Dye Ink - Nuit

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Colour Throwdown - colours #562
Everybody Art - Use Dies
Craft Rocket - Monochrome

Wednesday 11 September 2019

It's In The Bag & On The Card

     We all spend time making great cards for Christmas but what about gift packaging? Why not make a gift bag to match the card for that special friend, then pop over to Not Just Cards and show us.The waste from making this bag was used to make a card, it doesn't match the bag but it has made use of bits that may have been thrown out.
     Using both the Poinsettia and the Swirl Poinsettia dies I cut in gold and white, I kept the offcuts for the card.
     Assembling the flowers white over gold and shaping them slightly didn't take long but I wanted something special for the centres. Using a hot glue gun I added a large blob of glue to the flower centres and covered them with seed beads, gently pressing them down a little and leaving them until set.

     For foliage I used the new small ivy spray die and cut several in thin white card, I also cut a white greeting.
     The layers were all cut and matted before I put the flowers on, it's much easier to do when everything is flat. I have also learnt that if you wish to stamp on the top layer this should be done before it gets stuck on the bag, when folded up these bags can be a bit 'lumpy'.
     I love the Kraft and white combination, it's clean and simple and works well for any gender.

I would like to enter this project in the following challenges:
ABC Christmas - S-Sparkle & T-Texture
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas - Anything Christmas/option Patterned Paper
The Holly and Ivy Christmas - Anything Christmas
Merry Little Christmas - Anything Christmas
My Time To Craft - Anything BUT A Card

     Now what to do with the off cuts?  To start with I put the white over the gold layer but off set it slightly and stuck them together.
     Using the Poinsettia stamp set I put a large piece of red card in my stamp press and stamped it using a Crimson ink pad, I though black would look a little too harsh.
     I put the white and gold layer over the red and lined up the petals, there is a little overlay as the gold and white are offset, then carefully stuck them together making sure there was a red border all the way around the top layer. I put a tiny amount of glue on my finger nail so I could stick down the little bits without making a mess.
     There is a small difference between the Swirl Poinsettia die and the Poinsettia stamp, the smallest stamped flower does not have a corresponding swirl because it's too small so their are two of the next size up. This meant that the smallest flower was missing on the top white layer so I stuck one on top of the white and there was one flower hole with the wrong size stamped image, so I covered this one up with a red die cut flower dropped in the hole.
     The red layer was trimmed to give me a nice even border around my image panel, this was then stuck on to a white card blank. All that remained was to add some gold pearls to the flowers.
     Making a card with what I would usually have discarded made me very happy, after all no crafter wants to throw anything away do they!

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
Happy Little Stampers - Anything With Dies
Winter Wonderland - Favourite Embellishments

Materials List - for both projects
JND132 - Swirl Pionsettia Die
JNDCC017 - Poinsettia Die
JND50013 - Elegant Poinsettia Stamp
JND129 Mini Ivy Die

Little Winter Cabin

     The challenge at Christmas At Sweet Stampin' this month is 'decoration', this could be a card featuring a decoration or an actual decoration like this one.
      I have a set of three dies that cut out houses, this is the smallest one, when finished it is only 2.5 inches tall, luckily still big enough to take a battery tea light though.
     I cut the house from some patterned card, folded all the score lines and stuck it together, the bottom has a tab so the house can be used as a mini gift box, so I didn't glue that bit.
     I wanted the door to stand out so I cut a small kraft one and glued it over the pattern. The extra roof was cut from a piece of red corrugated card, cut to hang over the edges just a little like a real roof does.
     To create a mini scene I used one of the trees from a previous post and die cut some deer in kraft card. I left a large tab at the base of the deer as a stand and folded it just where their legs begin.
     Something like this would look good on a small tray or wooden slice as a table decoration, or even in a small jar with some faux snow.
     Making Christmas cards is fun but so is making all those little decorations to dot around the house or give as mini gifts.
     This die could be used any time of year, just use different card to make beach huts or log cabins.

I would like to enter this project in the following challenges:
CraftyHazlnut's Christmas - Anything Christmas/option Patterned Paper
My Time To Craft - Anything BUT A Card
Creative Fingers - Anything Goes

Saturday 7 September 2019

Golden Bauble

     This card was made to showcase the new holly stamp and die by John Next door, when teamed up with the ivy corner it makes a great set of foliage.
     To begin with I cut and coloured the ivy, using several colours of ink makes it look more natural.
     The holly was stamped in dark green ink on green and then coloured with another shade of green ink to give it depth. John's method for lining up the die really does work, once cut out all  the holly was just right.
       I snipped between the leaves on the closer pair and on one sprig cut off the single leaf, once arranged with other foliage you can't tell anything has been changed.
      I was given one of John's baubles already cut by a friend at our little craft group. I matted the bauble on an embossed white panel, then matted that on old gold and a white card blank.
     Once the bauble was stuck on it was easy to lay up the foliage and decide where to glue it. The addition of a die cut greeting on the bauble and some red gems for berries finished it off nicely.

Materials List
JND135 Holly Die
JND136 Shaded Holly Stamp
JND126 Round Bauble Die
JND124 Ivy Corner Die

I would like to enter this card in the following challenges:
ABC Christmas - S-Sparkle & T-Texture
Sparkles Christmas - Winter Wishes
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas - Anything Christmas/optional patterned paper
Crimbo Crackers - Anything Christmas

Monday 2 September 2019

Poinsettia Trees

      When I saw John Next Door's new Poinsettia Swirl die this is the first thing I thought of, trees. There are so many colour combinations you could do with these, they don't have to be for Christmas either.
      To start with I cut three sets of solid flowers in gold paper, the beauty of John's flower & foliage dies is you can get four sets from one A4 sheet. Then I cut one set each in white, green and red using the swirl die.
     These are hand drawn shapes so they are not perfectly symmetrical, just like real flowers, so you will have to turn them around until you find the perfect match. Once I had the perfect match I glued the flowers together using a good strong PVA, I get in too much of a mess spraying glue, plus I have to go to the greenhouse to do it. One tip that may be useful is once your flower is lined up glue the centre only, this will hold it in place while you go around the petals, there's nothing more frustrating than when it slips out of alignment!
      While the glue dried on the flowers I made my tree trunks. This consists of a wooden cotton reel, plastic would work but won't be as heavy and sturdy once built. For the trunk I used a bamboo skewer, this is held firmly in the cotton reel by wrapping approximately 7" of thin card around the skewer and gluing it inside the cotton reel. I did not cut the skewer to length until the tree was assembled just in case it was too short.
      The visible trunk is then a series of paper beads, made with the same card as the swirls so they match. One bead followed by one flower all the way up the trunk, all made using a spare skewer as a master thus ensuring they fit the tree skewer.
      Bead list:  3 x 1/2" wide and 4" long      &     2 x 3/8" wide and 4" long
     Each flower, except the smallest one, will need a small hole in the centre for threading, don't be tempted to use a hole punch for this as the hole may be too big, use a pokey tool and gently tease the flower over the skewer for a snug fit.
     Begin with a large bead before the first petal, then use the remaining two larger beads in between the next petals, finishing with the two smaller beads toward the top of the tree. 
     I used a spot of PVA at each stage so the beads and flowers stayed firm and it all stuck to the skewer. Once the last bead was stuck in place I cut the skewer off flush with the top, the smallest flower was then stuck over the top to cap the tree. To finish off I stuck a small gold pearl on the top but a tiny star would look just as good, or even a mini fairy if you can find one.
     I had some one inch strips of white and gold patterned paper left over from making stars, these were just the right width for wrapping the cotton reels. I coloured the papers with alcohol markers to get a match for the green and red trees and glued them in place. To make a perfect finish you could cover the bottom of the cotton reel with thick card or felt to hide the skewer and stop it marking a polished surface.
     A small forest of trees on the mantle piece would look great or maybe use them as place markers on your Christmas Dinner table. If you make some of these I hope you enjoy it as much as I have, if you have any questions please comment and I will do my best to answer them.

Materials List
JND132 - Swirl Pionsettia Die
JNDCC017 - Poinsettia Die
Cotton Reel
Bamboo Skewer
Stix2 3D PVA

I would like to enter these trees in the following challenges:
Winter Wonderland - Christmas Ornaments
Crimbo Crackers - Anything Christmas Goes
The Holly and Ivy - Anything Christmas
CraftyHazelnut's Christmas - Anything Christmas/optional S
The 12 Months of Christmas - Anything Christmas/optional Kraft
Through The Craft Room Door - Anything Goes