Sunday, 23 August 2015

Tattered Lace Charisma Collection Carnations - April 2015

Hi, hope everyone has had a good week.

It has been so long since my last blog post but family illness has meant that I have had less time than usual to post.  Going to try and catch up a bit now!

This set of samples was lovely to do.  I love making cards with a floral theme and especially like making flowers, but as I work full time I am often stuck for time.  This was a great way to make 3D flowers without spending hours and hours making them.  I also love the effect of decoupage but am not great at cutting out, but it is the fiddly bits that make the decoupage come to life ... so decoupage dies was an idea I loved straight away.  I also liked that you could either leave them completely flat or lift up all the little petal edges, which I thought looked much better.

I thought I would do more of a 'recipe' style of what I used on the cards and then a brief explanation ... if anyone has any questions or queries, then give me a shout.

8x8 Card
Martha Stewart Border Punch - Optic Dot
Nellie Snellen Multi Frame Dies - Squares
Paper from Charisma Collection CD
Tattered Lace Die - Charisma Collection Carnation
Tattered Lace Die - Ornate Leaves
Tattered Lace Embossing Folder - Fretwork Lace

This was a really simple idea but trying to fit it on the page in real life took a bit of squishing.  If I was more of a measuring person, I would have measured the card down the middle and cut it a bit thinner!  I worked out in the end though, what do you think?

A4 card
Matchbox design found online
Paper from Charisma Collection CD
Sentiment from PC
Tattered Lace Die - Charisma Collection Carnation
Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Vintage Photo

Loved doing this one, as I don't often do inky stuff.  Didn't bother to line the drawer, I just printed the same design on both sides of the card.  Instead of using the whole decoupage design for the top of the box, I used one whole one and then a few sections to finish it off.

8x8 Card
Paper from Charisma Collection CD
Tattered Lace Die - Charisma Collection Carnation
Tattered Lace Die - Free Die from Tattered Lace Magazine issue 10
Tattered Lace Embossing Folder - Fretwork Lace

This card is really simple, just a few mats and layers and some glitter but I thought it was a really pretty colour way.  Again I used one whole decoupage and then a few smaller sections.  The second picture shows the detail really well, I especially liked the white bobbly bits (I'm sure there's a more technical flower name!) which I would definitely have cut off if I had to had cut them out.

A5 Card
Die-Namics Die - Pierced Fishtail Flags
Inkylicious Stamp - Happy Birthday
Paper from Charisma Collection CD
Ribbon from stash
Tattered Lace Die - Charisma Collection Carnation

This was another of my favourites and although you cant see it very well above, it was actually printed on pearl paper and card which gave it a really soft look.

A4 Card
Joy Craft Die - Card Stand 6002/0122
Paper from Charisma Collection CD
Spellbinders Die - Scalloped Labels 1
Tattered Lace Die - Charisma Collection Carnation

Saw something similar to this on Pinterest and had to have a go!  I did have to change the handle to a strip of card rather than a ribbon so that it would stand up a bit.  I also cut a Joy card stand so it could be displayed rather than lying down.  If I do this again I would pop the gift in and make a card that also fitted inside.

8x8 Card
Paper from Charisma Collection CD
Ribbon from stash
Sentiment from PC
Tattered Lace Die - Charisma Collection Carnation
Tattered Lace Die - Ornate Leaves

This one I would never have made if you had to cut it out!  Again I used one whole decoupage and different sections for the corner and the sentiment.  Had a bit of a faff trying to make the middle of the ribbon narrower without it bulking up but, as everyone knows, Pinflair glue holds anything!

No out and out bloopers this time although I did have to do a lot of tucking and 'encouraging' with the first card as I should have cut the middle vertical strip a bit narrower.

Thanks for reading, have a great week and if you get a chance, let me know what you think.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Mother's Day 2015

Hi, hope you've all had a good week.

Mother's Day was a few weeks ago so I thought I would share my Mother's Day gift and card.  It's taken me a little while to sort my photos out, so apologies for the delay.

Firstly the gift; I started with a 'special mum' MDF blank from Anna Marie Designs and glued, then painted it with a Range Paint Dabber in Juniper.

When the paint was completely dry I stamped an Inkylicious script stamp with Flitter Glue and used gilding flakes over the script.

Next I went round the edge with some pale rose gilding powder that I bought from the Stencil Library, it's hard to see in the pictures but you can just see it on the edge of the glittered flowers that I covered in in PVA glue and then added two colours of Chloe's Chunky Glitter.

Next I used some Arianna Blooms and Arianna Lace die cuts for the flowers and flourishes and dug out a packet of rosettes I had in my stash.  I inked round the edge of the flowers before assembling them and added a couple of the flower stamens (also from Anna Marie Designs).  I only used a few as they were so floppy ... it didn't occur to me until later that I could have put some PVA on them to stiffen them up, doh!

I then placed the buttons and pearls (both from a Tattered Lace show) in place and shuffled everything around until I was happy and then I glued everything down with my brilliant hot glue pen.

This is the rear view and also where I did my practice run on the stamping and gilding!

This is a view from the top and you can just about see the gilding powder on the top and at the front.

The card was quite simple; as ever I had spent so much time on the gift I had to be quick with the card.  The base card came from a pack I ordered from Create and Craft a while ago and  I embossed the next layer with a Tattered Lace Embossing Folder then inked round the edges.  Next I cut three of my favourite Labels 1, the patterned paper on the left side was from my scrap box and the right hand side was printed on the PC and then die cut.  I covered the messy middle with a ribbon, added a bow and a paper flower from Wild Orchid Crafts and ended with two stick pins that I made a while ago that happened to match.

No bloopers this time ... just my usual slightly rough looking inking, I definitely need to practice making it blend better.

Well that's it for this week, thanks for reading, hope you all had a great week.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Tonic Verona Storage Unit and Memory Book for Mums 80th

Hi, hope you've had a great week.

Something a little bit different this week, it isn't cards!  This is a double birthday bubble … mostly about the Tonic Forever Moments Verona unit that I made for mum for her 80th birthday but also a little look at the 80 Years of Memories album.  There are loads of photos on this, it's a bit of a mega-post!

As some of you know mum has been having chemo so was not well enough to have a party – plus she had a ‘no hair – no party’ rule!  So I needed to come up with presents that didn't involve people visiting or mum having to go out, and after looking around on the internet I saw that someone had done 60 Envelopes for their dad’s birthday and that set me off.  At the same time I was watching Create and Craft TV (fatal to have on in the background, there’s always something … and now there’s the British Craft Network as well) and on came a Tonic Forever Moments show.  I have never done messy crafting before and thought this would be a nice easy project to start on, so bought the double Verona and Tivoli pack.

I didn't start the Verona till Boxing Day as I distinctly remember on the show they said it would take about four hours to do, so I sat on the floor in the lounge and got all the bits out to look at.  The drawers were really easy to put together and I started gluing and leaving the boxes in the bottom of the storage box to dry straight.  That was the easy bit!!  The instructions are completely images, no words at all and not many images of finished units either … but I wanted chapter and verse, I wanted words and full instructions!  My mum’s bedroom furniture is all white, so the Verona had to be white to match, how I wished later that she had a dark coloured bedroom - it took six coats of paint to get it looking properly white with no patches.  Next I needed green and pink papers to cover it when it was finished as all the papers that came with it weren't quite right.  I found some Hunkydory card/papers that were absolutely perfect BUT there were only two sheets of each of the ones I wanted in the pack I had so I had to make sure I got the most I could out of each one.  The only place I ran out was on the very top, it should be shaped with little ‘ears’ but the paper wasn't long enough so I just had to cut them off.  I also made the mistake of painting the back panel before gluing it on to the rest, which meant it was really tight and I had to fight with it a bit to get it on.

The decorating of the drawers was the best bit and really easy with the dies that came with the Verona and using contrasting card stock to set it off.

My only problem was the inking, I did it with Bundled Sage and Tattered Rose distress ink but the Tattered Rose was almost dry so you can hardly see it at all and as I was doing the inking the night before mum’s birthday there was no choice but to carry on.

My inking technique still isn't great either; the green looks very rough to me.  The embellishments at the top were done using my melt pot (the white ones and the green leaves) and some that I bought from Hobbycraft that matched the colours I wanted.

For the Memory Book I liked the idea that lots of people could contribute without having to be there in person, perfect for what I needed!  After having a look round the craft room I spotted my Project Life Album that I am still working on and the idea was born!  I decided to buy a 6x8 Album and get the matching page protectors so I could slip in postcards, also a front page and a couple of wallets that I could store any bits and bobs that came back.

Next up, how do I get hold of all of mum’s friends addresses – I don’t even know most of them, and how many letters do I send with how many postcards in each, and what do I say in the letter?!?  The postcards were relatively easy … one thing I am not short of is card stock, I got out my Project Life stuff and then cut up card from my scraps box to 6 x 4 and soon had a huge pile of cards.  I wanted to send the request letters out after New Year so they weren't caught up in the Christmas post, so I told mum I was going to put all her Christmas Card addresses on the computer to do labels so she doesn't have to write them all out (I did do that as well).

I sorted the addresses into good friends, who all got three postcards to fill in, ‘ordinary friends’ who got two, and casual friends (including people I didn't know) who got one.  Back to the internet for ideas on what to say in the request letter, which really helped as I needed to explain really clearly what I wanted people to do – which direction to write the postcard, only write on one side, email if preferred etc, etc.  So on 3 January I put the non-UK envelopes in the post and sent off the UK ones a few days later.  This was where I got really nervous, what if only a couple or no-one replied (and at this stage the Verona box looked a fright!) I was starting to try and think of alternative presents if a last minute panic happened.  All I had ready at this stage was an empty book with a front page in and lots of empty page protectors.

I had the replies sent to another address so popped in on 12 January to see if anything had turned up.  Within a couple of days I had received five emails, this was a great start as they had twelve memories on between them and the close family had already started sending theirs, so although I hadn't had a look at the post yet I had already got twenty two memories.  I almost cried when I saw the stack of post that was waiting for me – there were sixty three postcards in them!  It is a tribute to my mum and how much people think of her that a week and a half after sending out the requests, the album was full!!

Wallet at the back with all the letters that came with the postcards.

So there they are, both of mum’s birthday presents done!  Hope you like them; let me know what you think.

Bloopers were too many to name on the Verona, the painting, the inking, the melt pot embellishments … I could go on!  On the memory book there was only one major one, I put all the cards in and then turned it upside down and all the cards in the top pockets fell out … grr!  I ended up cutting tiny bits of sticky tape and sticking the middle of each top pocket to keep it all in.

Thanks for reading, have a great day ... and let me know what you think.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Tattered Lace Country Treasures Paper Kit Samples - February 2015

Hi everyone, hope you've had a lovely week.

This time I have some samples from a paper kit that I really enjoyed working with. When I first saw it I had a bit of a grumble to myself as there was some kraft card and some decoupage in there, and I am not much of a decoupage girl.  Once I got going I found I just had to be a bit more creative as the decoupage didn't look right on ordinary flat cards, and I ended up really enjoying it.  The background card designs were just lovely and so were the little round embellishments that I put in the middle of the bows. Talking of bows, you will see quite a few on these samples, which is quite a change for me. Although I still have a way to go to get them perfect, the Bow Maker has just changed my whole view on bows on cards, it used to be such a faff to get them straight that most of the time I didn't bother!

Anyway, on to the cards ... the first thing I did was put the decoupage animals together, as soon as they were done I knew that I had to have lots of foliage to go with them so I got out my Tattered Lace dies (they were 3 for 2 at the NEC in November) and cut lots of Ornate Leaves and Fiddlehead Ferns. I also cut out some tiny flowers from the Mini Blooms set in different colours to match the background cards.  I have had SO much use out of the Mini Blooms set, whenever there's a bit of a gap on a card, or it just needs 'something' I usually end up with some of these flowers and you can cut lots at once.

First card was a panorama style card which I had never done before but was so pleased with the effect, that I bought an A5 set of Panorama Dies to have another go.  This is so easy, just fold the card, put a panel on the back, some of the precut foliage on the middle layer and up the side then stick things to the front ... it really was that easy.  The most difficult part (which wasn't difficult at all) was cutting out the card stock at the front to match the frame!  Add some glitter, a sentiment and a Puff Ball flower and it was done.

I haven't worked with kraft card before either, so this was a challenge to 'pretty it up' a bit.  Although it really doesn't show up well on the photo, I stamped an A4 piece of card all over with the Heartfelt Creations Birds and Blooms stamp using Perfect Medium then coloured it with green and pink mica powder (although the pink looked lavender on the kraft card).  I then cut down the kraft card piece and cut out a heart from the Spellbinders Lace Hearts set and stuck buttons and pearls in pink and green round the edge.  All that was left to do was to add the ribbon, bow, owl, foliage and sentiment.  I stuck the buttons on with my hot glue pen which is brilliant as it is cordless and heats up in a few seconds. 

This card I think I overdid by putting the pearls in the top two buttons.  I really liked the effect of the buttons, but as I used hot glue for the buttons and then the pearls there was no moving them!  The card is really simple but I liked the effect of the bow and just loved the design of the top background card, the colours are so pretty.  And of course had to use the bunny ... we used to keep two huge house rabbits so bunnies are always a winner for me!

Next up I used the Presscut Step Card Die One for the base then added some of the pretty background card for the base.  Then I punched out the sentiment and added some more of my tiny Mini Blooms die cut flowers and used the spare image from the panorama style card for the main picture and added the duck and some buttons - another card with no glitter!

I loved the embellishment on this card, I used some Stick and Spray on it and covered it in crystal glitter and was really pleased with the effect.  The card itself is just one piece of card that I cut using rectangular dies then matted it on pieces of kraft card, so it is actually quite economical with card.  You just have to be careful not to use mounting foam that's too high so you don't see any gaps.  I added a bow, my glittery embellishment, a sentiment and a few pearls and it was done.

And finally the squirrel card, which was made out of one piece of A4 kraft card and lots of foliage.  The sentiment and side pieces were punched out and again I used the Mini Blooms flowers to add a bit of colour.  I hadn't made this type of card before and it wasn't too tricky, the worst part is putting the middle support pieces in so you can add the foliage etc, I put mine a little bit too far down, next time I would definitely put them nearer the top to give the foliage more height.

Well, that's all folks ... I hope you liked them, let me know what you think.

I hope you all have a happy and healthy week, thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Little Boxes for Christmas or Table Settings

Hi everyone

Hope everyone has been well and had a great Christmas and New Year.  It has been a bit manic over the last few weeks with mum not being very well, then Christmas and then mum was 80 at the end of January.  I will hopefully blog the present I made from one of the Tonic Forever Moments storage units when I get a chance.

Anyway, I decided for Christmas this year (well, last year now) to do tiny cards but use my WRMK Gift Box Punch Board to make little boxes to go with them.  I love this Punch Board, the boxes are SO easy, the only board I was a bit disappointed with was the flower one which made flowers that were just too big for what I wanted.  Back to Christmas - the little boxes were had just enough room to fit in a Ferrero Rocher, a couple of mints, or for my nephews and nieces, some small chocolates and coins.  These boxes would also make great place settings if you put names on the top instead of cards.

The only thing I had to buy were the wax seals and the sparkly cotton to wrap round the boxes, all the card I found in my Christmas Box, some were from an old kit and some were a thick 6x6 paper pad.  So here they are!

The first picture is from the top which shows the card, the second is of the front and the third is of the side view. The boxes are 1 3/4 inches square and the cards I cut a fraction smaller so they would sit on the top.

I started by cutting my card to 6x6 inches and saved all the off cuts for the mini cards.  Then I got out the Punch Board and used the 'Small' lines for the start and for scoring the diagonal.  When I looked inside the boxes I didn't like the inside bits flapping about, so I glued the inside flaps to the inside of the box which added a bit of strength too.  In the bottom of each box I put a little bit of scrunched up tissue paper just so the box didn't look quite so empty.

Next up I used all the off cuts from the boxes to make little tiny cards

Then I used a Lily of The Valley stamp from their Happy Circular Sentiments set, which just fitted nicely on the little cards.

For the inners of the cards I used used Serif Craft Artist and created several different versions so I could mix and match. 

Finally I made some wax seals which were great fun to do, and really easy.  For some reason I have only taken pictures of the snowflake ones, but there were also Christmas trees, holly and a snowman on some of them.  I did them in a baking tray and made them all at once, changing the wax from gold to silver to red and even the ones where the wax was dual coloured came out really well.  The trick is definitely to wait a few seconds before placing the seal on the hot wax.

All that was left to do was fill the boxes chocolates, or coins  and sweets for the nieces and nephews, wrap the glittery thread round the boxes, and they were done.

No massive bloopers this time, the first card I did I sealed up and then remembered that I hadn't written in the card! The other thing is I had to put initials on the bottom of the boxes so I remembered which ones were for who, but apart from that, no disasters.

Hope you have a great week and thanks for reading.