Wednesday, 10 December 2014

MCS Magazine Issue 5 - Glamour a la Mode

Hi everyone

Hope you have all had a great week.  Last weekend I was all set to print off a load of photos for the holiday Project Life album when the chance came along to make some samples for the latest My Craft Studio magazine ... and the artwork is really lovely on this one, glamorous ladies rather than Christmas or children's themes. Not sure that my phone takes the best pictures, but here goes ...

First up was the trusty pillow box, they are so easy to print and cut out.  The hardest part is scoring the rounded edges, which doesn't long. It leaves all the time for the best bit, decorating and glittering.  I have taken a really close picture of this as I wanted you to be able to see the lovely pattern on the dark card.

Next was a simple card taken from a section of backing paper, adding the sentiment, glitter and some butterflies and finally distressing the edges.  The thing that was supposed to bring it all together was going to be faux stitching round the edge done by hand with a pen, it didn't go well!  I tried colours, Promarkers, black gel pens, and finally decided that only white would do and out of the FOUR white gel pens I had, two wouldn't work and two were too thin, so to me this looks really unfinished.  If anyone can recommend a good white gel pen I would love to hear about it!

Next was a version of the card I did for the magazine article (which I still haven't seen yet).  I did the green matt on the outside edge using MCS and again used a piece of backing paper and enlarged it to give a main focal element.  Using MCS I then added the figure then just glittered and added some gems and a sentiment.

This card took ages and didn't photograph well at all.  I selected a beautiful backing paper off the CD and then heat embossed in light gold using an Inkylicious text stamp.  I decoupaged the top part of the figure so I could stick the feathers underneath the waist of the dress.  Looking at it now I should have made the sentiment a much stronger colour.  I did all the matting and layering using the software and finished off with some glitter and gems.

This was another backing paper and I used the same bride but using the software cut away the veil using the scissor tool (it did take a while) and also cut one of the flowers out to put in her hair.  I matted the backing paper onto pink and then on to a large black card then used the Tattered Lace Mini Blooms and a flourish that I cut up finally adding some gems and a sentiment.

The final card was great in my imagination, but didn't quite come off.  I think it should have been gold card that I punched around and white at the back, I'm not sure but it may have worked better.  I took an 8x8 piece of white card and used the Martha Stewart Border Punch to do the outside edge and cut out the middle using a square die. I then enlarged the image on the software and cut it out and added a small black frame and finally stuck on the white punched frame and added some jewels I got at Hobbycraft recently.  I cut the sentiment out using a Spellbinders Tag and then cut a black version of the tag out as well and cut it in half to give the slight shadow.

Bloopers are legion in this set of cards!  On the Pillow Box I didn't print the card double sided and you can see it from the back at the bottom of the photo.  The less said about the butterfly card the better!  On the circle card I forgot to put the green matt behind the main card so you can see the white card in the middle. On the feather bride picture my stamping went a bit wobbly by her head and I didn't flatten the feathers for the picture so it looks a bit scruffy, and then the jewelled card didn't work out how I wanted.  When I saw the show the other members of the design team had made some stunning samples, I particularly loved the acetate one.  All in all 4 out of 10, must try harder for me!!!

On the brighter side MCS kindly asked me to do an article for issue 5 of the magazine (thankfully before they saw these samples!) so I put a bit about me and had to do two projects.  One is a little box that can be used for sweets or (as I use it) for a small pack of tissues.  The other is a square version of the round card above, which is quite a simple card but you can dress it up in lots of ways.  I chose Floriography as my favourite as I really love that CD, it has so many beautiful backing papers, just reminds you how good the artwork on the CDs is and how much of it you get.  It was so lovely to be asked to do the article, and I really enjoyed making the samples for it.

Hope everyone is having a great and crafty week, thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Floral New Home Card

Hi again

Have been looking at my Project Life album again this week. I really enjoy getting the photos and bits and bobs in the album - still got a way to go though.  I have also been playing with displaying my photos on the blog differently, so let me know what you think.

This card was made for my step-aunt who lives in Ireland and is the first time I have tried to recreate someone else's card completely. I usually take an element or see something I can adapt for myself but this one I saw on Selma's Stamping Corner (Selma's Vintage Floret Tutorial) and I knew I had to try it, although you will see that my flowers aren't a patch on Selma's.  Selma's blog is stunning and packed with brilliant tutorials and ideas.

I started with the Cuttlebug embossing folder 'Eyelet Stripe' and embossed both the folder and the border. After matting them on pale pink, I trimmed the short edges and stuck it on a card.

Next up were the flowers, and although they do look great they took me an absolute age. As ever, I didn't have the dies that Selma had so I used my Heartfelt Creations Arianna Blooms die instead.  

I cut lots of flowers out of 120gsm paper and then inked the edges in pink and the centres in yellow. Then I misted the petals with plain water and shaped and scrunched them over a shaping tool. When they were drying I used a large ball tool to shape the centres.  This did not come naturally to me! Trying to keep the petals damp enough to shape but not so wet they turned to mush was tricky for me and I was a bit upset at the time that the ink looked like it was all being left on my glass mat.  The ink problem went away when they dried and I could see how the ink had blended really evenly.  

When all the individual petals dried completely I made up one large flower, two medium and two small, for the very centres I used some fine beady stuff that I have had in my stash for ages.  After adding a couple of white swirls, some inked leaves, pearls and a printed sentiment, it was all done.

My aunt had decided to give up her apartment and move into more sheltered accommodation so it was a big move for her so I wanted to send something pretty to cheer her up, and it worked!

I will be making some more samples this weekend for MCS and I love the images on this CD, very different from the last few, not sure when the show is on though.

No bloopers on this card but it did take a huge amount of time.  Although the flowers are really pretty when they're  done, I'm not sure how many more I will be doing!

Hope you all have a great week and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

MCS Magazine Issue 4 - Eskimo Kisses

Hi everyone

I haven't been around much recently as my mum has been poorly again so the blog has had to take a bit of a back seat.  I have still been making cards though, so here are the samples I made for the show on Sunday 19 October.

I liked this CD as the characters are so cute without being sickly, I love Robins at Christmas, but all the other characters are lovely too.  When I watched the show back one of the design team had made a card with the seal looking out of the picture as if he had photo bombed it, it was really cute.

First sample was a Pillow Box, and they are so simple to cut out and decorate but they make a great gift box.  I cut out the box and added a strand of lace and on top of that a blue ribbon.  The flourish is a Heartfelt Creations die and the flowers are a pom pom die by Tattered Lace.  I stamped a piece of card and embossed some snow flakes on it before die cutting so it gives a bit of background shimmer.  Some glittered gems from my stash with a bit of Chloe's chunky glitter and it was done.

Now the photography on this one makes it look like Rudolph has a nosebleed, but it actually is red glitter!  I covered an 8x8 card with a background paper from the CD that I had added the moon to from the picture builder section, then used the Tattered Lace Reindeer and Christmas Greetings dies.  Next I  die cut the Christmas Tree and added some snow white flower soft to finish off.  I debated for a while about whether to decorate the tree but in the end decided to leave it all white.

This card is actually a tag that with the MCS software I put two side by side and then cut out.  With some peel offs, a bow and a sentiment it was finished.  Now, I did say a bow and it was made with the MCS Bow Maker that I love.  I have heard some people on line muttering about Afro Combs being the same, but I love the bow maker.  It is so small and simple to use, much easier than some of the more expensive bow makers I have bought.  Maybe it's because I am so useless at tying bows that I love it, and would recommend it to anyone who struggles tying bows like me.  I used to spend more time tying the bow than making the card, and a double bow would have been out of the question!

This card was made using a Sheena snowflakes embossing folder that I die cut into a frame and then rubbed really lightly with some teal gilding wax.  I used the picture builder section of the CD to place the tree, the seal with bauble (that I changed the colour of as it was red originally and blended into the scarf) the teddy pulling the sleigh in the background and finally placing the moon. I stuck the frame on the image then matted it all on some silver mirri card, some small die cut snow flakes and stars from a Memory Box die added the Tattered Lace Christmas Greetings die and sample four was complete.

This card almost made itself.  I embossed the front of the card with another Sheena embossing folder and then inked lightly over the top.  I have always been a bit light handed with ink but really found that the more I added the better it looked, I think I just need to be a bit braver!  Next I cut out the aperture with a Spellbinders bauble die and put the image behind it that I had made using the picture builder section of the CD.  I just love robins at Christmas.  I cut out a bright red bracket label and stuck on a sentiment from the CD that I punched out and then inked round.  Finally I added a bit of glitter to the bauble and the red beads to make the leaves look more Christmassy.  Looking at the card now I think I should have put a red bow at the top of the bauble to finish it off.

This final card was a glitterfest!  I used one of the toppers from the CD and then cut out an additional blank label for the sentiment.  The base dotty card is from Anna Marie Designs that I bought at the Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham sometime this year.  The next layer is one of the backing papers that I distressed using one of those little circular distressing tools and a bit of ripping!  Then I distressed the topper and the blank label and then glittered away using some PVA glue that I smeared on with my fingers and then some of Chloe's chunky glitter.  After adding the sentiment that was the die on a recent Tattered Lace magazine and some Card Candi, it was done.

Well that's all for this time, no massive bloopers this time, although it was a close run thing on the Tag Card, as when I first put the bow on you couldn't see the owl!  If you would, please say a little prayer for my mum as she isn't well at the moment.

Hope you all have a great and crafty week.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Blue Birds for Fathers Day

Hi everyone

Hope you’ve had a good week.  This week I have been trying to put together a picture on Serif Craft Artist that I want transferred onto a large canvas.  It is made up of lots of pictures from our holiday, but at the moment it’s not looking at all how it did in my head, so there’s still much work to be done!

On to the card ... this was done for Father’s Day this year and is my first try with my Spectrum Noir pencils.  Now, me and colouring don’t get on too well, I bought different types of Promarkers, the ordinary type, the brush type and had very limited success.  The trouble was that it always looked like my nieces had coloured it, and in some bad cases looked like my son had coloured it … and he never got past stick men.  So after several attempts I decided that alcohol markers were not for me and I now just use them for colouring in die cut flowers rather than inking them.  I bought one set of Spectrum Noir pencils and had a go with the Odourless Mineral Spirits and it gave me a much better result than I had with Promarkers so I bought some more (they were 3 for 2 in Hobbycraft) had a quick look on You Tube, and here’s the first card.

The image was bought online from the Digital Craft Store and I recognised the font so I added my own sentiment to match, the only other thing on the image is a little bit of white gel pen.  I can't get on the Digital Craft Store site today so I can't credit the artist, but I will update the blog when I can.

I started with a 6x6 card and made a really simple frame and inner frame using Labels 1.  I also cut the sentiment and matt from the smaller Labels 1.  After sticking the frame on top of the image I could see a bit of scribble in the top right hand corner of the card where I had tested the pencils, so I cut out some Tattered Lace leaves from the Sentimental Florals set to disguise it.  All that was left was to stick on the sentiment and it was done.

I am loving my Spectrum Noir pencils but putting them back in the tins and opening and shutting the tins while colouring is really inconvenient.  After looking online for a relatively inexpensive storage method for 120 pencils, I found the Derwent Carry All, which will store all the pencils as well as the paper stumps and the OMS.  Also, I have bought a little jar to put the OMS in (with a bit of sponge at the bottom) and covered it in glitter and gilding flakes.  I had to buy half a dozen of the little glass screw top jars, so if anyone wants one of the five spares, send me an email and I will pop them in the post.


The blooper on the card this week was the scribble in the top right corner of the card under the leaves … can you spot it?

Have a lovely crafty week and thanks for reading.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Samples for My Craft Studio Mega Word CD

Hi everyone

Hope you all had a great week.  I went to the Great British Craft Festival last weekend and had a really good time.  What I particularly liked was that it was nearly all paper crafts rather than painting or sewing.  I saw lots of lovely demonstrations and (as usual) spent too much money!  The shuttle bus was a bit of a saga though, the hosts asked us to get on the bus on the way there but almost everyone around said they would rather walk the ten or so minutes to the show, the lady next to me called over that it would be a different matter when we were on the way back with all our goodies and we all laughed.  So I went round my first Stoneleigh Craft show and had a good time, came out and hopped on a bus almost immediately which was great as I was taking my mum to lunch.  The bus just said 'shuttle bus' on the front and when about 9 or so people were on board we set off on what should have been a two minute journey ... except the driver left the Stoneleigh site!  A lady called to the driver and asked where he was going and he replied 'to the station' .... what!?!?!  which station?!?!  how far away was it?!??!  were just some of the questions asked.  It turns out that we had to go to Coventry Station which was 20 or so minutes away, wait at the station for 20 minutes and then drive back 20 minutes, what a faff.  I felt very sorry for the lady whose son was upset and waiting with her husband in the car park and she couldn't get back to him.  That will teach me to take the lazy way and not walk back to the car park!

Anyway on with the cards; these are for a My Paper Stash show that should be on Create and Craft today, I hope you like them.

First up was a nice simple card where I chose one of the pop out sentiments then went to the Papercraft Library - Paper Words CD and faded out two papers so they would match the sentiment.  I printed them back to back and then cut down the centre so I could fold back the paper and pop the sentiment in.  I did mess up a little bit in that I stuck down the paper near the fold back which meant I almost couldn't tuck the sentiment in, but managed to wiggle it in just enough.  To finish off I added some Card Candi and a button with some bakers twine knotted in it.

I loved making this card which actually started off with the paper, rather than the sentiment.  I found the paper on the 6th Anniversary All About Words CD and just had to use it.  This card is really quite big, so I had to make the card out of two pieces of A4 card, it's like a pumped up DL!  I inked round the sentiment and the main image and stuck the main image on to some lovely card from Pink Frog Crafts (can't remember what it's called as I bought it quite a while ago).  I made the flower buds out of the smallest Delicate Aster flower, inked then cut in half an rolled and stuck it under one of the leaf flourishes from the Cut Matt Create die sets.  I made up two of the next sized up Asters, again inked and added a pearl, then arranged the leaves and flowers over the image, and not a hint of glitz or glitter in either of the first two cards.

Now this card had LOADS of glitter!  The main image comes from the Papercraft Library - Paper Words CD again and as soon as I saw the snowflake image I knew I had to use it.  I matted and layered using the same colour as the snowflake and then used come Cosmic Shimmer PVA glue dots in silver glitter round the outside of the white layer (even though they look dirty grey in my pictures).  I went round one of the pale teal layers with the edge of a chisel tip glue pen and added some glitter and carefully used a Quickie Glue Pen on the centre element and added silver glitter to the writing already on the image.  I used one of the sentiments from the pad and cut it into a circle first of all, but that looked a bit boring, so changed it to the scallop shape using a Little B die.  To make the snowflake rosette I printed off an A4 sheet in the same pale teal colour and stamped it all over in silver glitter using a Chloe Snowflake background stamp and then cut out four pieces from the Brenda Walton Snowflake Medallion die.  I think I should actually have cut out less, so the medallion wasn't quite so folded, so you could see the stamping a bit more.  To finish it off I used some Chloe Sparklicious Glitter on the edges for a bit more bling.  Finally I punched out some snowflakes, some from silver glitter paper and some from the waste from the pale teal matting and layering that I covered in glitter, a couple of gems and it was done.

This card came from the Wonderful Wordbooks CD and I had forgotten how much fun wordbooks are.  I love the way that these print off and fold over giving you both sides of the letter.  All I added to the whole wordbook were some pop out sentiments (cut in a Labels 4 shape and on a Labels 4 matt) and some keys from the Spellbinders Lacy Hearts set.  The waste from the middle of the keys I used as hearts on the Home is Where the Heart is page.  To finish it off I inked round the letters and the sentiments a bit to give them some definition and then stuck it all together.

This is another really sparkly card but there's no glitter!  The image is taken from the Simply Sentiments CD and then chopped down so you just have the three hearts made out of roses (the pictures make the images look much brighter than they really are, in real life they look a much softer colour).  I cut a frame out with Jus-Cutz Rectangle dies and matted it on some soft pink card.  I covered the main image in a sticky sheet and then put Cosmic Shimmer (I think it's Iced Snow) on top of the whole image then rubbed it in with my fingers until there wasn't a shower of bits coming off each time.  Then I added the sentiment on top of a tulle knot (so I didn't have to do a bow) and finally added some gems that I bought from Joanna Sheen absolutely ages ago.

Last up is a really bright happy card made from the Simply Sentiments CD.  I actually did this one in Craft Artist rather than MCS as I wanted to change the colour of the big pink balloon to a yellow one, so it wasn't quite so obvious that I had chopped down the image then flipped it and stuck it together.  I used Die-Namics Pierced Fishtail Flags dies to cut out the sentiment and the bottom shapes that I had printed out in colours that matched the balloons in the main image.  To finish it off I added some confetti balloon shapes that I have had in my stash for years.

Although I used Craft Artist on the last card, looking at all the CDs to do these cards, it did remind me how good the images are on MCS CDs, some of them are really beautiful and I have earmarked some of them for up and coming cards I need to make.

Only one blooper this time; I wanted a snowflake shaped sentiment so found a die big enough and cut it out, completely forgetting that snowflakes are lacy and the die laced right through the sentiment leaving me with just a couple of black lines that you couldn't read ... doh!

Have a great week everyone and thanks for reading.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

An 80th Birthday Card for a Retired Archbishop

Hi Everyone

The weather here has been amazingly hot, just so humid.  The office I work in is air conditioned, so when I get back into my non air conditioned car at the end of the day I am almost melting after my journey home. However, it seems wrong to moan about good weather and everyone feels better when the sun is out.

This weeks card is for my OHs uncle who is a retired Archbishop, so I had to think of something that looked appropriate but wasn't too fussy.  As you can see it is Sue Wilson inspired, but as usual although I loved Sue's card, I didn't have any of the dies that Sue used on her card, so this is my interpretation.

Although you can't really see from the photo the two crosses are in silver mirri and all the rest of the card is white.  First I printed the sentiment from the pc onto a plain piece of card and scored above and below the text.  Next I cut two Spellbinder borders from the Parisian Accents set and also three crosses from the Spellbinder Crosses 2 set.  I was a bit cross myself when I tried to layer them up as they didn't really fit so I had to jiggle them about quite a bit to make them look even.

I glued the borders back to back and layered on the crosses and finally added pearls to try and draw your eyes away from the join a bit.  I stuck it all together and then layered that on another piece of card that I had already pricked to make a border and that was that!

I wasn't there for his birthday celebration but am told that he really liked the card ... so a very Happy Birthday to OH's uncle!

Hope you have a great and crafty week, thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

My Craft Studio Samples for Academy Magazine Issue 3

Hi everyone

 … long time no speak!  I have still been making cards but haven’t had much time to update the blog, but I am going to try to post at least once every other week from now on.  My holiday seems so long ago now, although I am still slogging through the Project Life Album, it turns out that I much prefer using the online downloads rather than using the cards in the box.  I will still use the cards from the box as the filler cards in the album, but I have so many pictures and napkins and tickets etc. that I want to fit in that there won’t be much room for too many filler cards anyway.

On with the samples … these are for the My Craft Studio Academy Magazine, Issue 3.  It was fantastic doing Christmas cards in July, although when I started finding glitter in the bathroom I knew that I needed to start tidying!  The images and colours on this CD were really lovely, there was something for everyone.  My favourite was the blue snowflake paper, which you will see quite a lot of … and after realising how easy the wine bottle covers were to make up, I think there will be a few of these made up later in the year.  I was a bit time pressured on these samples, even though we had a bit longer to make them this time, as it was my sons birthday in the middle weekend so I didn't get much done on the middle weekend ... I hope they got there in time!

The first card is taken from one of the toppers that was a really nice mixture of contemporary and traditional, I love the Santa image across the moon and it was just begging to be layered.  I printed off two of the image and used the second one to cut out the sentiment and the main image.  I went round the edge of the image and the sentiment with an embossing pen and added gold twinkly embossing powder and heat embossed them both.  To the bottom layer I added some lace and some glittery washi tape as well as lots of gems.  I glittered the image and stuck it to the main topper, a bit of matting and layering and it was done!

The second one is my favourite I think, and has lots and lots of glitter.  I covered the back and the front of the front cover of the card with paper that I lightened slightly in MCS and covered the inside with the same paper that I darkened a bit.  I cut the front of the card on a slant and then stamped Chloe’s Merry Christmas on the inside top right and filled in the letters with a quickie glue pen and glitter.  Next I die cut a Tattered Lace reindeer in brown card and some Tattered Lace Snowflakes on white paper that I had covered in a double sided sticky sheet.  To fill in the gaps I found some snowflake punches to make some smaller snowflakes then glittered one side of all of the snowflakes using pale blue and crystal glitter to match the paper.  Some of the larger snowflakes were stuck on back to back slanted front cover and some were added in the gap.  I added a couple of lines of raised glitter at the bottom of the card to give the reindeer something to stand on!  A red gem for Rudolph’s nose and the card was done.  You can’t really see it on the photos but this card is really sparkly.

Next up was something I hadn't done before … a pop up tag card.  I used the same image tag as I had for the first card as I loved the image.  I was a bit disappointed with how small the card was when I finished it, but on the bright side it would fit in an envelope when it folded down.  To start with I took a piece of dark card as the base and then printed off some of my favourite snowflake paper as the toppers for each section.  I stuck two toppers back to back and using MCS cut out the topper image on the tag as well as the sentiment as I knew the sentiment on the tag would be covered when I stuck the card together.  I folded up the card with the topper in the middle, edging the topper and the sentiment in some gold glitter and finished off with a bow made on my Bow It All, which my mother finds a hilarious piece of equipment!  She can’t imagine anyone not being able to tie a bow … well I can but it takes me so long that the ribbon is all wrinkled by the time I have got it right.

This card I put together very quickly as all the time was spent playing on MCS to get the picture right, I do like messing with the software to get the effect I want.  I used the separate images to compose the main picture, added the text and printed it off.  I wasn't very happy with the quality of the black base card as to me, it didn't look quite strong enough, but I stuck on lots of gems and bows and some big glitter for the tinsel and ended up with a nice traditional card.

The fifth item was a wine box which again the photos don’t really do justice to (that's not being big headed, I mean you can't see all the sparkles).  I used the silver version of the glittery washi tape and added some spiky flowers from using a Cheery Lynn die that I put some big glitter in the middle of and some smaller Tattered Lace flowers.  These wine boxes are so easy to put together and you can decorate as much or as little as you like.  I will definitely be personalising some of these this Christmas.

Lastly was a pillow box which was in lovely colours and again is really quick to print off and cut out.  They make great boxes for little awkward presents.  I decorated the box with more Cheery Lynn die cut flowers, Tattered Lace foliage and some lace and finished off with a sentiment from the CD.

No major bloopers this time, just a bit disappointed with the bendy large card, and I also forgot that when I put the snow on the ground for Rudolph ... you can see through his body, however galloping horses wouldn't notice (or should that be reindeer?).

I loved using this CD and hope you like the samples.

Have a great week.