Sunday, 30 August 2015

Using Decorative Masks - Part 3 - Ghosting or Shadowing

I hope that you have been able try some of the techniques that I have shown you in Parts 1 and 2 of this blog series about using Decorative Masks. Another really effective and easy technique is called ghosting or shadowing. It's a quick way to add dimension to your paper craft projects.

Here is one card that I made to show off this technique. It is a box card based on a card fold that has been around for many years. I have adapted the pattern (which you can see at the end of this post) so that you can use the Gift bag punch board to make it.

It opens out to look like a window box. I think that this will make some great Christmas cards!
So how do we do go about ghosting with decorative masks? Easy - just follow the simple steps below.
  1. Place a mask on a piece of cardstock. Mid colour strength works best. (Not too light and not too dark.) Sponge white craft ink through the holes using a sponge or dauber. Remove mask, clean and allow cardstock to dry naturally or use a heat gun to speed up the process. Who wants to wait? 
  2. Place the mask back over the white. Now move it slightly up and to the right. Sponge or daub ink in the same colour as the cardstock. It will create a 3D shadow.
  3. Stamp any images over the top or add die cuts to embellish.

Try different decorative masks to get different effects. I think this line and circle mask makes a great background.

Add a simple embellishment and sentiment and you are good to go.

When you have finished sponging the white craft ink through your mask it will be covered with in the ink. Don't waste it - use it to take a print with a dark piece of cardstock. I run a stamping block over the back of the cardstock to get a good print. There is so much ink on the mask that you will get several prints. These will make great backgrounds for other cards.

Now for the box card. It is one of those folds that you  need to start making and it will all make sense as you start folding!

Step 4 in more detail.

Step 7 in more detail.

 I hope that you enjoy trying this technique and card fold. Part 4 will be all about doodling and using Gesso.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Using Decorative Masks - Part 2 - Spritzing

In my last post I showed you some ideas using Decorative Masks and sponging. Today in Part 2 I'm going to show you some easy yet effective ideas using spritzing. The Stampin' Spritzers from Stampin' Up! are a great way to get colour onto cardstock quickly. You simply take the top off, add water (I half fill) and some drops of re-inker until you get the desired strength of colour. Then you can spritz away. Just a word of warning - spritzing is imprecise and the outcome is really a bit hard to predict. I like to use watercolour paper to help with ink absorption.
Before I show you how to do this technique I wanted to show you the end product. I was really happy with the outcome so wanted to give you some incentive to keep reading!
I'll show you this shadow die cut technique later in this post. Hang in there!

 So what do you think? Let's get to the 'how to' part. The spritzing is easy. Place the mask over your watercolour paper and lightly spritz. I find that a sweeping motion while depressing the nozzle works well. You will get a bit of leakage under the mask but I think that adds to the effect. I used 3 colours and slightly overlapped them while they were wet to get an ombre effect.

Bonus print - before you lift off the mask, place another piece of watercolour paper over the mask and take a 'print'. Don't waste that ink! To get the best print, I rub the back with a stamping block.

Here are the pieces I used for the cards and the prints I took from the wet mask. The prints will make great background papers for another project.

These are the finished cards.


I have seen this shadow die cut technique on Pinterest but haven't found how to do it. I had a play around and have found a way that works for me.
Shadow die cut technique:
  1. Die cut the word from your base paper (stripy in this example).
  2. Die cut the word from black or another dark colour cardstock.
  3. Remove the word from the base paper but keep the letter insides.
  4. Adhere the background paper to your card front.
  5. Place glue inside the space where the word has been cut from. In this case on the black.
  6. Fit the black word into the cut out space and add the base paper letter insides. eg middle of 'a'. See picture below.
  7. Place glue on the back of the base paper word die cut. Place it over the black word but slightly to the left and above so that you get the shadow effect.

 I hope you love this technique. Part 3 will be about ghosting or shadowing.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Using Decorative Masks - Part 1 - Sponging

Have you tried the Decorative Masks from Stampin' Up! yet? I have had them for a while and haven't used them until recently. I ordered them because I had seen so many great projects done with them but of course I have too many products and not enough time! Over the last week I have been exploring several techniques using them for an upcoming class that I am holding. I will post a 4 part blog series on these techniques for you over the coming weeks.
This is what the decorative masks look like. There are 3 different sets - I will be showing you these 2.

Dots & Stripes
Happy Patterns

The first technique that I started with was sponging - thought I'd ease in with an easy technique! It's as easy as placing the decorative mask over the cardstock, dabbing your ink pad with a sponge or dauber and tapping the ink onto the cardstock. Once you start you'll just keep grabbing cardstock and sponging it!
For this first example I placed the stripe mask on an angle and only partially sponged. One thing I did learn was to clean my mask after each use. Can you see the darker lines on the outside of the Mint Macaroon stripe? I like the effect of the Rich Razzleberry that was left on the mask from the previous sponging - luckily! Partial sponging gives a great background for die cuts and allows you to quickly create an interesting card.

You can also move the stencils around. For the "bubbles" on this next card I just used the one circle from the dots mask and moved it around. I used a dauber and I tried to ink the left side darker and fade out towards the right to give the effect of dimension.

Did you know that the Elegant Dots Textured Embossing Folder coordintates with the dot and line mask? I was looking through the current annual Stampin' Up! catalogue and got the idea from page 19. I think that it gives great definition. I like to sponge first and emboss second. It makes lining up the embossing folder much easier. If you decide to used the reverse side of the embossing you'll need to reverse the order.

I hope that this inspires you to have a go with these decorative masks. Part 2 will be about Spritzing.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Kissing technique meets I think you're great

I really loved making the Upright Z fold card in my last post so decided to use that fold to show off the kissing stamping technique. Incidentally I was named as the weekly winner for that card in the TGIF challenge #TGIFCTD03 that I entered. I'll be one of the ones to choose from at the end of the month for the overall winner.
At this year's Stampin' Up! convention at the Gold Coast we were given a stamp set called I think you're great. This is what it looks like.

I must admit that this is the first time I have used it as I'm not a fan of the sentiments. The make and take cards that we made at the convention used the kissing technique. It is a really great technique and this set is perfect for it. Check out page 130 of the annual Stampin' Up! catalogue to see some other examples of this technique.

There are a few variations on this technique. It depends on the 2 stamps that you are using. The basic principle is that you use a more solid image and a patterned or background stamp. You ink one stamp, press the other against it then stamp the solid image. The idea is to get a pattern onto a solid stamp. My preference is to ink the patterned stamp then press the solid stamp against it to get the pattern. On page 130 of the annual catalogue you can see how they have done it the opposite way.

I started using the solid onesie from Something for Baby, then pressed onto the inked wavy pattern stamp from I think you're great. To get more definition I stamped the coordinating outline stamp from Made with Love. I decided to keep it simple with this card. I love the combination of Crushed Curry, Night of Navy and Whisper White. Add in a bit of DSP from the Cherry on Top stack and I felt I was set. Instead of a circle latch at the top I used the banner punch and Bohemian Borders to decorate the white one.

I added the borders on the inside as well for a bit of detail.

For this card I used the Flower Patch stamp set. There is a solid leaf that I used to make a pattern.

You can see in this close up that I didn't actually clean the leaf in between reinking on the tear drop background stamp. It gave an effect that I liked. It came about because I actually forgot to clean it!

I added a little bit of detail on the inside.

For my third card I used the Celebrate Today stamp set. The solid balloon with happy in took a bit of positioning so that the tear shapes landed in the right place on "happy". I'm not certain that I like this card - but it is growing on me!

Here is a close up of the front of the card.

I hope you have fun with this technique. Let me know how you go.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Upright Z fold card meets TGIF Challenge Throwdown #TGIFCTD03

I've been following along with the TGIF website and looking at their weekly and monthly challenges but haven't had a chance to participate yet. The monthly Throwdown Challenges are fun and end up being a bit of a problem solving experience. This months challenge #TGIFCTD03 was actually difficult but I got there in the end. I start with getting all of the supplies out and then going from there. I was a bit stumped for a design and then one day it just came to me. I think I was overthinking it a bit!

Here are the items that you have to use for this challenge. These change each month.

You can also use the following pantry items.

Here is what I came up with. I used the Upright Z fold for this card. I love how it stands up for display.
I felt that the card needed something else so I used a doily as a template and pierced holes around it.

For the inside I created a border using one of the leaf stamps from the Flower Patch stamp set. Because I could only use one green, in this case Mint Macaron, I stamped a second time before reinking, offsetting the leaves.

The Upright Z fold is easy. Here's how to make it.

Cut the following: 
  • ½ an A4 lengthways
  • Outside mat – 8 x 13 cm
  • Outside white cardstock– 7.5 x 12.5 cm
  • Inside decorative paper - 10 x 14.2 cm
  • Inside white cardstock – 7.5 x 10 cm
  • Punched shape for the prop – 1 ¼” circles work well.
Fold the ½ A4 piece in half. Fold the front piece back to meet the centre fold to form the front leg. Adhere the inside pieces to the inside unfolded side making sure that the white piece is closer to the bottom of the decorative paper. This will ensure that it will not be seen when propped open. Mat the front white cardstock and adhere to the front, placing tape only on the lower half. See the examples above. Place 2 foam dots on the punched shape, ensuring that they are covering the top half. Attach to the middle top of the back piece. Use the above pictures for placement.

For this card I didn't use decorative paper on the inside of the card.

"Just a bit to the left".

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Weekly Deals

Just a short post today to remind you that each Wednesday Stampin' Up! announces new deals for the week. You can view them by clicking the tab at the top of this site. I thought I'd let you know that this week has both gold and silver foil sheets reduced. Perfect for all of the Christmas projects I have planned! See all of the specials at the bottom of this post. Let me know if I can help you with an order.

I also wanted to let you know that I posted a tutorial here a few days ago to make a tote bag using the Gift Bag Punch Board. In this post I sent a special hello to all of my lovely subscribers. A hello that you didn't receive as I was tweeking the subscriber settings which meant the email to alert you to a new post wasn't sent. Hopefully I"ve sorted it all out now. Click the link above to learn more ways to use your punch board.

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Monday, 10 August 2015

Tote bag and gift cards using the Gift Bag Punch Board

Before I start telling you about this post's project I just wanted to take the time to thank those of you who have been regularly checking my blog. I really appreciate you taking the time to do so. There are so many blogs with great projects on them - you taking the time out to look at mine is very much appreciated by me. An extra special hello to those of you who subscribe by email. I only just worked out how to see who you are - so hello to you all. If you want to subscribe simply fill in the section on the right of this site. You will receive emails each time I post something new.

My mission this week has been to use up spare kits from classes and offcuts that I inevitably accumulate. Do you seem to have a stack of unused pieces and scraps? A month ago I featured this project made with the Gift Bag Punch Board. I taught this at a class and had a few kits left over. Rather than adding the pieces to the pile, I decided to make them into different card sets. I followed the same design and just varied the stamp sets used.

To add to the gift card set I made this cute tote bag. Wouldn't you love to receive them as a gift? The tote bags are really easy to make using the Gift Bag Punch Board. I found a great tutorial here and just varied the measurments a bit. This is a great post and has step by step pictures and instructions. The double sided Designer Series Paper makes a great contrast band at the top of the tote by turning it over.

To make these projects you will need:
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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Just for you Bohemian Borders - JAI #273

I've been a bit under the weather this last week and have only been able to think about making cards instead of actually making them. I was so sick that I was forced to do a bit of online retail therapy! Can I call it alternative medicine? I did feel better until the parcel delivery man said to me "You sick again?" Obviously the armful of my parcels that he was struggling with is a tell tale sign!
Today I thought that I'd incorporate 3 things that I have been looking at and thinking about into my cards.
1. The Bohemian Borders stamp set by Stampin' Up! (It is has been sitting on my desk waiting patiently for it's turn to be used.)
Bohemian Borders Photopolymer Stamp Set by Stampin' Up!

2. The card sketch by Sylvia for this week's ESAD challenge.

3. The Just Add Ink colour combination for their challenge this week JAI #273.

Because I have been unwell I wasn't feeling as creative as I normally am so it took me a while to work out what I was going to do. My craft desk is littered with cardstock that I used to create patterns while experimenting with Bohemian Borders. In the coming weeks I will post more using some of these patterns that I have created. Here is what I eventually came up with.

My previous post was about CASE-ing yourself. Copy and Share Everything is a great way to spark ideas and why not start with your own designs? With that in mind, I made this card by simply changing the colour scheme.

Making the pattern was really easy - I love the see through nature of the photopolymer stamps. I stamped one of the dark outline image then tried to make the sides and bottom meet. Then I stamped the middle - trying to match up each notch.

Here is what you need to create these cards. Please contact me using the contact tab at the top of this page if I can help you with ordering any items.
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