Thursday, 31 October 2013

My Paper Stash Decoupage

Hi everyone, I hope everyone is hale and hearty.

These are the samples I made for the My Paper Stash Four Day Deal as I mentioned last week.  I was a bit of a scramble to get them done as the printer at my mums house stopped working and the computer in my crafty space died of old age – what a nightmare – and I only had two evenings to do the samples.  Fortunately I had printed of the decoupage sheets before the printer stopped working so I at least had them, if nothing else printed to go with them.

Anyway due to time pressures the cards are not too fancy but I have to say the colours are really lovely in the sheets that I saw, the best description I can think of is vintage pastel.  As I only finished them at gone midnight I really, really do have to apologise for the photography as I know the colours have not come out true to life.  If I used the flash it bleached out the colours and if I didn't use the flash the colours looked darker and there are shadows all over the pictures.  I have posted photos both with and without flash so hopefully between the two you can get some idea of the colours:

I really liked the colours of the heart decoupage but I am not sure that either of my cards did it justice, the card above is silver pearl card which was then embossed and the decoupage added on top with a fair bit of glitter and a few gems.  I actually heat embossed the sentiment which is quite brave for me - stamping can be a bit hit and miss when I'm doing it, but I think it came out okay.

This card I was really pleased with when I finished it, but now I look at the photos I am not sure I like it at all.  The heart decoupage is lovely but I think the colour of the flourishes is just not right.  The flourish is the Tattered Lace Elegant Flourish in blue and white pearl and the background card is pale pink.

On to the balloons, which again I thought was in lovely colours so for the first one I embossed a piece of Coredinations card and sanded it back and then put the decoupage on top and added a few gems.  Looking at the photos though, it is just too plain, it definitely needs something else!

I have only got a without flash picture of this one which is a shame as the chocolate colour card that I used for matting and layering had a lovely sheen to it as did the gold background card, but you just can't see it in this picture.

I love butterflies and these are in lavender so my favourite sheet of the lot.  You can see the glue on the three gems is still wet on the second picture - hot off the press!  Just some matting and layering here with loads of glitter.

The final one I didn't decoupage but used the butterflies separately and cut round the butterflies on the topper with a craft knife and managed not to either cut my finger off or one of the wings off the butterfly.  I think this is my favourite out of this set.  The flower is another Tattered Lace die, a daisy this time which I paper pieced and added some gems.

Well I am off to see the new computer that OH should be bringing home from work today.  We knew that the old PC didn't have much life left in it but hoped it would hang on a bit longer!  Will have to think about a printer for mums next month as I want to have a look round the Hobbycrafts at the NEC next week and my bank balance always suffers a bit afterwards!  I am going on Friday as I usually do, I love looking around when I would usually be at work and it means that I can still go to lunch with mum on Saturday.

Have a great week everyone and thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, 27 October 2013

Candles for Christmas ... printing on tissue

Hi everyone, hope you all had a great week.  Weather has been very mixed here, can’t believe how the weather has changed since I got back from holiday, we were SO lucky.

This week I was going to start making my Christmas cards, but a rush samples job from MCS came in so I have put it to one side for a few days.  I have decided that this year I am going to use the Heartfelt Creations Christmas Card paper pack with some MCS elements and sentiments from the Christmas Overtures CD along with some dies that I already have.  If they are any good I will put some pics on here, if not you won’t hear anything about them!  Anyway in the spirit of Christmas I thought I would share some candles I made for some friends of ours a couple of years ago.  I had the idea to use a photo from their wedding to add to the Christmas images, see what you think.  I'm not quite sure why they all look like they are leaning to the left, must be my poor photography.

First I went through my CDs looking for Christmas images that would be suitable for the candles I found these images on the MCS Craft e Christmas, Christmas Sparkles CD.  I know that most people print off one sheet and then melt it onto the candle as a whole, but I find it easier to rough cut round the images and put them on separately.  I seem to not have enough pairs of hands to hold a whole sheet in place without wrinkles and also hold the wax paper in place and then pick up the heat gun!

I had bought several candles in different sizes as I made them for a few people that year and chose three that I thought looked good grouped together.  Then I measured each candle and made a note of the height and the circumference of each one.  Then I went to the computer and got the images that would fit each candle from the CD and added them all on top of each other till I was happy with each one and then I got the wedding picture and spent AGES with the scissor tool cutting round it in MCS, it took a long time because the grooms suit blended into the background so it wasn't that obvious where I had to cut.

Next I made three pages in MCS in the sizes I had already noted and placed variations of the images that I had chosen on to the pages, shrinking the images where necessary for the smaller candles.  I like that you don’t have to reverse the wording when printing on tissue paper as you can just turn the tissue round.  When I was satisfied with the result and had printed off a test of each one on copy paper to check that everything looked okay, I printed onto the tissue paper.  Now this is a bit hit and miss for me, I don’t do it very often and find that each time I have to play around with the printer settings and how you attach the tissue to the copy paper before I get a decent page.  When I did the candle for the MCS Whispers and Wishes sample it took blinking ages as the printer kept eating the tissue paper … so much so that I actually printed it off three times, three lots got chewed by the printer but I just cut out the bits I could rescue and flattened the wrinkles out when I heated them onto the candle!

So now I had three pages of tissue ready for the candles.  I rough cut round the images for each candle and placed them where I wanted them, then I got my silicone paper (couldn't get hold of any wax paper at the time) and wrapped it round the candle in such a way that I could grab a handful of the silicone paper at the back and keep my hand away from the heat when I used the heat gun.  When you use the heat gun keep it moving, not too close to the candle, until you see the wax paper ‘melt’ into the candle but not so long that the candle goes soft.  I know from many mistakes that once you have a dent in the candle you can’t get it to look perfect again afterwards no matter what you do.  Then take the silicone paper and shuffle it about on the candle so that you sort of buff the surface so it gets a bit of a sheen and you are done.

I have included a picture of how I wrapped them – the cellophane and ribbons were really cheap off the internet but I think it made it look much prettier (but then again, I would, wouldn't I?!) the gold ribbon is the same stuff I used on the gift bag from last week.

Apologies for the photography here and especially for the samples next week, my only excuse is that there was no natural light as I had to pack them up to send off and it was after midnight!

MCS samples again next week as Nancy Watt will be on Create and Craft TV on Monday 4 November with the Four Day Deal, it's a My Paper Stash show - you will have to tune in to see what it is.  I have done some samples but it’s always a bit worrying to see whether they will be used – how mortifying if none of them are good enough!  If I don’t mention them next week … you’ll know what’s happened!!

Anyway, have a lovely crafty week everyone and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

My Craft Studio Samples for 6th Anniversary

Hello, I hope everyone is well and crafting away.

I am still on holiday while starting this post and the launch show for the My Craft Studio 6th Anniversary CD set hasn't happened yet.  As usual, my timing for going away meant that instead of having over two weeks to do the samples, I had one weekend and a couple of evenings!  I was just a bit rushed ... especially when Diane asked if we could do ten samples rather than the usual six. I did actually say that I wasn't sure I could fit in ten, but did a couple of quickies to make it up to ten. I'm sure you will be able to tell which they were!

Be warned ... this is a mega post with loads of pictures!

First up a gift bag which has been shown briefly with the card that goes with it both from the Woodland Wonders CD.  This is literally just the image with some wording placed over it, then in the software faux matting and layering on a nice bright background and printing it off on A4 paper.  Here's the front and back of the bag:

The card that went with it was one of the quick cards I did, it is a shrunk down (A5) version of the front of the bag with the wording changed and an extra couple of layers of faux matting done on MCS.  I added a bit of glitter and one of my home made little ladybirds (more about those later) and that was it:

The next sample was one that I thought of straight away when I saw the backing paper image from the Treasured Teddies CD.  I printed the whole sheet of backing paper as the card, folded it length ways and then cut two Classic Ovals (small) out of the blue colour and one Opulent Oval out of the cream.  I used a nestie shape font I have, made it large enough to cut the oval out of and then used the dropper tool to colour the blue (or cream) so it exactly matched the backing card.  Then I messed around with shapes until I got the Happy Birthday right and cut it out.

This next one you may have seen on Facebook or on the show.  I was quite shocked when I saw it on Facebook as the one that Stephanie had picked out of the sample box as when I made it the middles of the smaller flowers looked a bit rough, so I filled them with glitter and thought "as long as no one sees a close up it will be fine"!  That'll teach me!  

The large roses are from the CD, the small flowers are from the Tattered Lace Sentiment Florals die set, the large leaves are from the Bitty Blossoms set and the small leaves are also from the Tattered Lace Sentiment Florals set.  On the bright side everyone gets to see my little home made ladybirds that I made with black and red pearl pens.  I have put a picture below so you can see them 'in progress' so there's a couple of 'naked' ladybirds who haven't had their spots yet.  You are supposed to use an extra, extra fine nib for the black pen, but I can't get hold of one that fits the pen so that's why they all have only three spots, it's all I can fit on.

This next card was my favourite out of all the samples, it was taken from the All About Lace CD.  I used a piece of the backing paper and then used the dropper tool (in the text menu, the same as for the Happy Birthday card with the ovals) to make a large piece of card to match the backing paper colour.  Then I embossed the plain piece using Sue Wilson's Heart Lattice Embossing Folder and covered the join with a strip of card cut with the Classic Bracket Edgeabilities.  Then I measured the inside of the Floral Oval die and punched out an oval in the software so on the page there was just a printed oval in the middle of a plain white page.  Then I cut out the printed oval using the Floral Oval die and about eight Tattered Lace Elegant Flourishes.  I glued the Elegant Flourish pieces down first, then using the highest foam tape I had matted the Floral Oval on the top.  To finish off I printed off the Happy Birthday (actually it was on the bottom of the oval page so I didn't waste too much card) and then cut it out with the little tails.  Good job you can't see the back of that bit as it has all my measuring in pencil!

Five down ... five to go!

Next is another matching set, a gift bag and a card.  This is from the Music and Dreams CD and I had the idea of a card for someone leaving with a gift bag.  So first we have the gift bag, I have seen this on one of the shows today and it seemed to be in the way ... it kept getting moved from one end of the desk to the other!  This gift bag (like the top one) was bought from Hobbycraft and then I added a few real layers this time rather than doing it on the software.  Although you can't see very well from my pictures I have printed off a sheet of backing paper - one sheet did both sides then cut it down and used Flitter Glu and Flakes on the outside, the next layer is gold mirri card then the next layer is the topper which I added the wording to and also some extra notes from a music font.  I prettied the brown bag up a bit with some gold florists ribbon that I had from a couple of Christmases ago.

Here's the matching card to go with the bag.  The card is 8x8 and I used the same font and image, but just made the whole thing larger and matted it on gold mirri card.  This was one of the quick cards - so no Flittering on this one!

This next one was also made using the Music and Dreams CD ... bit of a different look though!  I had the idea for this early on but it just didn't quite work somehow - and I should have used a different coloured sentiment or at least printed it on the card using the software.  I used the Sizzix Paper Rosettes dies and used gilding flakes on the edges of the rosettes.  The rosettes are actually coloured to match the background, but I went a bit mad with the Flitter Glu so the gold covered up most of the background colour. 

Sample number nine was one of the quick cards again made from the Treasured Teddies CD.  It is an A5 card that I printed straight on to super smooth 300gsm, I added the sentiment in the software and used lots of glitter, a few gems and a sort of bow made out of that spidery web stuff (not quite sure what it's called).

And finally, as they say on the news, there was one last quick card to complete the set.  This one is another A5 card taken from the All About Lace CD.  Again I printed the image straight on to the card then added gems and pearls.  The rose was decoupaged and glittered to give a bit of dimension - but I actually really liked this one when it was done.

Phew ... all done!  I am back from holiday now so have come straight in, put the washing on and finished the blog!  Hopefully I will be able to watch a full show now.

Hope you like the samples, let me know what you think.  Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Civil Partnership Card

Hello, I hope you are all having a good week.  I am on holiday this week in Christchurch (the Dorset one) so I am hoping that you can actually see this! Actually I can't manipulate the images on my tablet properly, so I will have to sort them out when I am back on Saturday evening.

This card was made last year for my cousin who was going to a Civil Partnership celebration.  We were both invited so the challenge for me was to make two cards that didn’t look like the same person had made them!  The card I made for myself was much more informal than this one, anyway here’s the one I made for my cousin to send …

I started by going through my CDs; the wedding type collections, but as the service was for two men my choice was a bit limited as florals and the like weren’t suitable.  Then I found the MCS Enchanted Moments CD and there was the image of the two intertwined rings on a blueish background that looked just right.  I printed it directly on to centura pearl white card and then sat looking at it for quite a while for inspiration!

I knew it really needed some ribbon and I had some dark ribbon that went with the image, but (good news for me!) a bow wouldn’t look right on this card.  I ended up making two slots near the edges of the card and threading the ribbon through (the buckle was made out of the smallest Romantic Rectangle die) then sticking the whole thing together at the back.  To cover where the ribbon threaded through I added some gems on a strip that I bought from the NEC a couple of years ago.

Next up was the sentiment, starting with the Antique Frames and Accents die and doing a faux mat behind it in grey pearlescent card.  I don’t think faux mats are going to feature much in my cards as I just don’t have the hang of cutting neatly (probably why I like my dies so much).  I printed off the message on the PC and then cut it out and rounded the corners then used four of the accents from the Antique Frames and Accents set to go round the edges.  After that I added lots of different sized gems and also a few blobs of Cosmic Shimmer coloured PVA to go round the edge of the whole card and it was done!

The blooper on this is the faux matt.  It’s really annoying but I could have cut several and they would all have looked just as bad.  I have tried large scissors, small scissors, turning the card, keeping the card still – and it still looks messy whichever way I try.  Looking on the positive side, the Antique Frames and Accents die is quite intricate so it distracts you from the cutting.

For those of you that are interested My Craft Studio has got a great pick of the week starting on Friday 11 October at noon on Create and Craft TV, I will still be on holiday then, so let me know what you think - I may have made some samples!

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

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Gold and Cream Anniversary Card

Good evening, this week has been very busy hence the late post but we are going on holiday to Christchurch on Friday so I will have to have a go at scheduling a post for next week, so you may well see nothing!

This week’s card was for my mum to send to some good friends of hers for their Anniversary, and although I like some of the individual elements, I just wasn't happy with it when I had finished.  It felt like the colours were a bit muddy and it didn't quite come off as I wanted, anyway here it is …

The card is A5 and I wanted some gold patterned paper for the background, of course in my room full of stuff I had nothing that was quite right!  Rather than buying some more I found a 12x12 sheet of paper from the set I got in a pack from Costco years ago that was cream a with beige vine pattern on it and went over the vines with a quickie glue pen and covered it in gold glitter, this background paper ended up being my favourite part of the card.

I made one large flower from the Heartfelt Creations Vintage Florets and three buds from the smallest dies in the same set.  As I did before with the Heartfelt Birthday Card (link to card) I made up a mixture of iridescent medium, gold glitter and some yellow ink and painted it on the stamped images before I die cut the petals.  Learning from last time I didn't bother to emboss the petals after cutting them as I was going to shape them afterwards.  I also used up some of the leaves (near the big flower) I did for the Heartfelt card which are actually from the Delicate Aster but did some new small leaves for the buds.  I do still love my hot glue gun … gives you some wiggle time whilst only having to wait a minute for it to be completely solid.  I never have to bother about making a box when the flowers are made with the glue gun as they are like rocks!

For the focal point of the card I used Elegant Ovals with gold card and cream centura pearl card.  The gold card could either be the foundations card or some card I found from Anna Marie Designs that looks exactly the same to me, so I can’t tell you which one I used!  The Britannia dies came out for the sentiment and when I went to stick it all together I thought that the large oval looked a bit bare so I found a feather in the Creative Expressions Vintage Lingerie stamp set and heat embossed it in gold to fill the space.  The embossing looked a bit lumpy to me, but that was all I had!

I matted the whole thing on some gold card and added a few gems and it was finished.  As I just wasn't quite happy with it, I wanted to keep adding stuff, so had to just step away.

Lessons learned from this card were; 1) don’t put too many layers on flowers, it doesn't necessarily improve them and 2) get some finer embossing powder!  On the brighter side there were no bloopers, so it wasn't all bad!

Have a great week everyone and thanks for reading.