Friday, 28 June 2013

My Craft Studio Samples ... how exciting!

Hello again, not much sunshine the last few days but at least we can all craft if we can't go outside!

This last week has been very good in lots of ways, first of all my amazing mum had a major op but is recovering marvellously which is a big relief to all of us.  Secondly a week or so ago I saw on the MCS Forum that they were asking for people to volunteer to do some samples for a Pick of the Week on Create and Craft TV, so I thought I would have a go.

Now I am not very brave with my cards as I only make them for me and my mum to send and maybe one or two close friends.  Plus I have only recently started my blog, and I don't join in any challenges because I work full time and I always nit pick about my own cards, but I thought I should just give it a try anyway.

After sending off three sample cards to MCS I got a lovely email from Diane at MCS thanking me for my samples and that she really liked them.  To be honest, I thought that LOADS of people would have done samples and we all would have had the same email, so didn't think much more of it and certainly didn't think they would use them on TV.

Imagine my shock when I watched the launch programme back on Friday evening (the actual programme had been on at 12 noon when I was at work) when Diane was showing samples and held up this card and said that I had made it:

Now personally, this was my least favourite out of the three as even though I loved the butterfly background paper I thought that the Epiphany oval made the pink behind the butterfly look a funny colour and also that the ink that I used on the edge of the flowers (Delicate Asters) wasn't dark enough, but it still got shown on TV, I was so chuffed!  Especially as some of the cards made by the other Forum members were absolutely lovely and much more intricate and pretty than mine.  Oh and notice the leaves that I had left over from when  I made the Heartfelt Birthday Card - I still have some left so you will probably see them again!

This next card was shown on the 5pm show and I had just said to my son that one of my cards might be shown on the programme ... he actually snorted with laughter at the thought!  Just then Diane was demoing on the PC showing the image of the topper I have used in the card below and said "and you can see what Melanie has done by adding embellishments to this topper".  My son was absolutely stunned, I definitely got the last laugh there!

I did notice that when they showed the card later one of the pearls had gone missing from the longer bauble, and also that the glitter I used on the snowflakes doesn't show up very well but was very pleased to have had two shown out of the three I made.

I had only managed to catch bits of each programme as I was visiting the hospital on Friday when most of the programmes were on but on Saturday when mum was home again we sat down and watched the 1pm show.  My mum was so pleased when they showed the card above and then they followed it by showing the card below, making three out of three shown.

This card was actually my favourite out of the three, I really liked the snowflake background paper in the darker blue which I faded out for the lighter blue section at the top, then I just punched and die cut some snowflakes, but I really liked the combination of the silver, white and blue.

Anyway enough showing off, but I really do want to thank Diane from MCS for showing them, I know there are loads of sample makers out there who make some really stunning cards but for me to get my little cards shown really was thrilling.

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Leafy Sympathy Card

Hello, I hope everyone had a good and crafty week.

As I have had the day off work to take my mum to the hospital, I am trying not to watch Create and Craft so I wont order any Christmas dies.  I really must use up some of my Christmas stash before getting ANYTHING else.  Only crafty people wont be shocked that I am talking about Christmas in June!

This card is about as different as you can get from my usual flowery cards, as it is obviously for a sad occasion and also took very little 'putting together' but longer to design on the PC.  It was done a while ago for OHs family as his aunt had sadly passed away.

The card was designed in My Craft Studio Elite (I can't remember which CD as I have so many).  I use MCS for inserts all the time, and some of their images are just beautiful like the ones on their Floriography CD, but there are lots of others that I use regularly (which is why I try so hard not to buy paper when I go to craft shows!).  It is 5.5 x 5.5 and I also made a co-ordinating envelope using the Enveloper and an insert using MCS.

I always struggle to find sentiments for this sort of occasion, but I did find this poem when I was looking for verses for my great aunts memorial cards, and thought it appropriate for this card too.  

As the card is fairly simple to put together there wasn't even a blooper!  For me any combination of wet glue, glitter glue, double sided tape, glitter and a hot glue gun usually have blooper written all over them, I couldn't tell you how many times I have put something down on top of something that is drying!!

Anyway, that's all from me for today.  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Lovely Lottie - New Baby Card

Hello again.  After a lovely long weekend in sunny Whitby, this week's post is a new baby card that I sent a while ago now but I really enjoyed making.  I don't get to make many baby cards and brand new babies are just so  lovely (especially when they're someone else's!!)

It was my first go at making flowers with dies, these are Tattered Blossoms from Heartfelt Creations.  I didn't have the stamps that matched the dies at the time so for some layers I inked through the die, and on some I inked up the edges ... anyway back to the beginning of making the card ...

I started with an 8x8 card blank and some pink spotty paper from my stash (printed from a Polkadoodles CD originally I think), next I took a piece of snow white Centura Pearl card and embossed it with the Radiant embossing folder from Couture Creations, inked lightly round the edge with pink Distress Ink and then gave it a quick spritz of Spray and Sparkle.  

For the flowers I alternated the pink spotty paper with some paper printed from the Wild Rose Studios Spring CD and then curled the petals round the end of an embossing tool.

For the centre sentiment layers I cut out two of the largest Splendid Circles, one in silver mirri card and one in white card and then inked the white layer in pink.  Next came a plain silver circle and then I printed off the sentiment and cut out a smaller layer of Splendid Circles and then inked it in the same pink.  It took a little while to match the ink colour to the sentiment colour in Word, but I think I got away with it!

The new mum and dad had sent us a picture and a text showing us the new baby .... she is just so cute!  So I used the picture and shrunk it down until Lottie's face fitted in an Epiphany circle, so I made two (well actually three, but more about the blooper later) one for the card and one for the box.

All that was left to do was the bow ... I am rubbish at bows and they take me AGES to get right!  I am so glad that the fashion is now to cover up the centre of the bow with something, as mine usually need covering.  I used a flower gem from my stash for the middle of the bow and the other gems are Kort and Godt gems that I got from Joanna Sheen, they are just the most beautiful colours and so sparkly, I really wish I had bought more of them now as they don't sell them any more.

All that was left to do was mat and layer everything and add the cute baby embellishments that I also had in my stash, pop on the Epiphany circle with the picture of Lottie and add the pearl flourishes which were from Creative Expressions and there it was!

As usual, there were a couple of bloopers!  One of them irritates me even now when I look at the photo above, which is I stuck the pink paper down and forgot to ink round the edges!  The other blooper which you can see above is the Ephipany picture.  I die cut a small flower in silver mirri card and then stuck the Epiphany circle on with wet glue, it was only when I took the photo I noticed that the glue had wet the inkjet picture and made a big yellow splodge in the middle of it.  As it was on the box, and the first thing you saw I couldn't leave it so had to do it again.

Anyway that's it for this week, thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Botanical Birthday

Hello again.  I am going away this weekend so I am posting a bit early, I'm not quite brave enough to try and schedule a post yet.  So have a good weekend everyone, and I hope this lovely sunshine continues ... fingers crossed!

This card was inspired by a Sue Wilson card from 11 April 2013 called 'For You' (Sue's Blog - Particraft), as you can see I didn't have any of the same dies that Sue did so my version looks like this:

It is for my cousin who isn't a 'pink and fluffy' girl, so I wanted to make a card that suited her rather than glittz and bling it up like I would for my neices!  I'm not much of a 'pink and fluffy' girl either, but I do love letting loose with the glitter for others.

The colour of the card above isn't quite right so I took pictures without flash, but they look a bit too pink as you can see in the photo below, you will just have to imagine a colour somewhere in the middle of the two!

I started by cutting four of the corners from the Botanical Swirls and Accents Spellbinders set.  After putting the corners face down I used a tiny bit of repositionable tape runner to get the corners positioned how I wanted them and then glued them together where they overlap.  This made it easier to stick the corners down all as one unit when I was ready.  Then I cut out the whole set of Splendid Circles and used my Ink Dusters from Inkylicious to ink the second largest circle with Dusty Concord Distress Ink.

I've had some stamps for ages, but have only just really got the bug for stamping.  I find it much easier to stamp with Versamark or Perfect Medium and then use coloured embossing powder.  I am not sure why that works better for me, but I don't seem to get as many smudges.  Anyway the stamp on this card is one I have had in my stash and never used until now, unfortunately they weren't in packaging so I can't let you know what make they are, but it just fitted the second smallest of my Splendid Circle die cuts.

To finish off the card I made a couple of mats, one white which I pierced using a Tim Holtz ruler, and one of the same lavender colour that the Botanical Accent Corners were made from.  After sticking it all together I added a few gems and there it was!

As the card is really quite a simple one there were no bloopers either, although looking at it now I would probably put the white layer that I have pierced through an embossing folder!.

Anyway, I hope everyone a great and crafty week and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Serif Twosome

Hello again, what a lovely sunny day we've had today, makes up for the week of rain!

This time I've got two Serif Cards in one post.  Both made for my nephews, you will see my nieces and nephews names pop up quite a bit in my posts as I mostly make cards just for me or my mum to send.

Both cards in this post are created in Serif Craft Artist 2, and as there isn't much technique actually making the cards after you have designed them on the PC, I have included two!  The thing I like about Craft Artist is that you can get great looking (in my humble opinion!) results fairly easily and can undo and redo until you get it right.  I have to say that I had a copy of Craft Artist for AGES and didn't use it until I saw Michelle Jackson-Mogford (Michelle's Blog) demonstrating on Create and Craft and I just had to have a go!

The first card is so new, I haven't even given it to him yet.  I used the Purple Ronnie digikits that I downloaded recently from Daisytrail, there are some really different sentiments and phrases, as well as lots of funny embellishments.  This was my first go at a double easel and it didn't go quite as smoothly as it could have as I ended up cutting a slice out of the middle of the folding part of the card between the two easels.

I used an A4 sized page and created the two easel parts (with a blooper as usual! ... more of that later) and the two shields.  I used the decoupage tool for the first time on the shields to give a different look.  On the second A4 page I created the base of the card and the Happy Birthday message.

To assemble I folded over the front of the A5 card and scored it down the middle to fold it to make the two easels.  I glued the base of the card down and then stuck the shields on with foam pads to act as stoppers for the easels, I put them at different depths so the easels would stand up at different angles (it was at this stage I realised that my easels wouldn't fit on the card properly so I had to cut the base card down to size.  After cutting out a slice of the base card I added the easels and then made a triangle of card and added the Happy Birthday message.  I bent the triangle of card back slightly so that when the easels are put flat the Happy Birthday would also fold a bit so I can get it in the envelope.  After that I added Card Candi and a bit of gold glitter which doesn't show up very well in the photo and there it was!

The second card, although created in Craft Artist, uses images from the Polkadoodles Pretty Tuff CD.  As Joe likes fishing and football, I went with that theme!

I used three papers for this 6x6 card, first I printed one design directly onto the card and although it doesn't show very well I inked round the edges using Ink Dusters.  Then in Craft Artist I opened an A4 page and brought on the star paper as the background, then in the top half of the page I added the figure and other embellishments adding shadows to them all and then created the text in the bottom section of the A4 page.

I went to my metal dies binder and found my favourite Spellbinders set Labels 1, and cut out the top and the bottom half of the page in different sized labels and then got a matching paper and cut out two more Labels.  I use Labels 1 all the time they are so useful for sentiments, frames, backing for the main element of the card, even as the card itself when I use the large ones. Anyway, back to the card!  I got out one of my fine liner pens and drew some dots and lines round the borders of the Labels as they needed something to make them stand out on the page.  All that was left to do was punch out the sentiment and a larger circle to mat it onto, added the buttons tied with a bit of bakers twine and that was that!

The bloopers for this time, both on the first card.  Firstly I couldn't get the easels to fit correctly so I cut out the middle strip between the two easels.  Secondly when I was in Craft Artist and I was matting and layering my rectangles, I removed the black borders on the right hand easel, but there they still were on the left hand easel.  Now I look at it I think I prefer the side with the black borders after all!!

Before I go I would like some advice ... I want to stick my heat proof craft sheet onto something.  I tried using an old cutting mat and some Collal glue, and you could say it didn't go well!!  First of all it didn't stick very well and second, I had a couple of goes with my Melt Pot (that's a whole other story!) and forgot that the cutting mat wasn't heat resistant.  So now I have a hilly, not stuck down very well craft sheet.  So my questions are 1) what glue do I use to stick it and 2) what do I stick my craft sheet onto?  Any help would be much appreciated.

Have a great and crafty week and thanks for stopping by.