Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Wishing you love

Today I needed to make a wedding card and as usual was a bit pushed for time and creative inspiration. Aren't we all? I had a quick look at a few challenge sites to get some inspiration and then decided to just do my own thing. I had some kits left over from a get together I was at with some other Stampin' Up! demonstrators on the weekend so decided to use that as a base. The card that I shared was similar to the blue one in this post but I used Rich Razzleberry instead. I love the layout so that was one less thing to think about!

Here is what I came up with. After I finished my card I realised that it actually met the criteria for 2 challenges! Must have had them in the back of my mind.

The Just Add Ink #281 challenge for this week is to add your 3 favourite colours. I have used Mint Macaron, Tip Top Taupe and Very Vanilla. I just love these colours together and think they make a great modern wedding card.
A new challenge site that you should check out is the Global Design Project. Their challenge this week #GDP004 is to case the designer. You can use anything on the card as inspiration. I have based my card on the colour scheme (loosely) and the layout. Here is the card designed by Louise Sharp for the challenge.

I started with watercolour paper and did a wash using an aqua painter and some ink from the lid of my Mint Macaron ink pad. After it had dried I stamped some little spots that are part of the Holly Jolly Greetings stamp set. It just gives a bit of interest and definition. The love heart is from You're So Sweet and was cut out using the heart from the coordinating Mini Treat Bag thinlits. 'Wishing you' was added from the Holly Jolly Greetings set. After adding some Linen thread for a hanger, gold thread for added oomph and a Blossom Accent to the top my card front was finished.

The card is a normal A5 folded in half with 2.5 cm cut off  from the front edge. I layered Venetian Crochet trim and Mint Macaron Dotted Lace trim on the underside of the front.

Needless to say that my craft desk is buried somewhere under all of the items I've used or thought I may use!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Festive flower centre step cards

My task today was to make 3 cards but when I sat down I had not one creative idea floating around! That's fine if you are just making a card for fun but today I needed these cards to give to people. Sooooo...what to do? I looked at my crowded craft desk to see what was still out from my last projects. Answer - everything! Most of the items that I had bought from the Stampin' Up! 2015 Holiday Catalogue were laying around. So I just grabbed my Festive Flower builder punch (which I am totally obsessed with btw) and made 3 flowers using Very Vanilla, Crushed Curry and Pink Pirouette. I have some tips on how to use this punch and not waste cardstock here.

My top design tip for you is to just start with one element. It may be an embellishment (like my flower) or a colour scheme, embossing folder, paper etc. Don't get bogged down in the nitty gritty. Just start. The rest will flow. And if it doesn't you have the start of a project for another day!

With flower made I grabbed my class folder with notes from past years, flipped it open and landed on my instructions for centre step cards. Cardstock and DSP choices came next. This is what I came up with.


You can see that they are all variations on one design. Today that was the easiest for me! Don't be afraid to use your favourite ideas/designs as a base for another card. If you are onto a good thing - stick to!

For my sympathy card I used Very Vanilla and Tip Top Taupe for my colour scheme. Dotted lace trim in Tip Top Taupe gave my sentiment (from Petite Pairs) some definition. Venetian crochet trim made leaf like shapes. The front panel was embossed with the Softly Falling Textured Embossing Folder. I love being able to use Christmas products for other occasions. Don't you?

My 'feel better' card has scraps from my Cherry on Top DSP stack. I just placed different patterns on my Crushed Curry base until I was happy with the look. I added 2 strips on the side struts as there was not enough contrast for the flower.

I went to the tried and tested colour scheme of pink and green and chose Pink Pirouette and Garden Green for my third card. Gold cording trim and some paper from the Winter Wonderland DSP pack were added. My sentiment is from the Floral Wings hostess set. It needed something to lift it and make it stand out so I used the Banner Triple punch with a piece of vellum from the Winter Wonderland vellum stack. A piece of Very Vanilla Subtle Stripes Satin ribbon was the finishing touch.

Centre Step Cards have been around for many years but I keep coming back to them. If you have been following my blog you'll know that I love cards that pack flat for sending but stand up for display. These are perfect for that.  Here are the side views for you.

 I cut another panel and mat for the inside of each card. See measurements below.

These cards are easy to make. Especially if you have a Stampin' Trimmer. You can cut and score the lines on that. Here are my instructions. There are so many variations - this is just one!

Of course my stylist was on hand to "help"! I won't show you the photos of Millie "helping" by lying on my cards. She doesn't really like sharing my attention - even with cards! You should see how she feels about my glitter tray!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

CASEing the 2015 Holiday Catalogue

This week it is my turn to set the ESAD challenge. With everyone pushed for time and busily making projects to showcase products from the latest Stampin' Up! holiday catalogue I thought I'd to try multi-task with this challenge. The challenge is to CASE (copy and share everything) something from this catalogue. It might be a card layout/sketch, colour scheme, project idea or technique. We so often feel that we have to reinvent the wheel as crafters. All artists take their inspiration from something. It may be nature, an experience or in this case a fantastic catalogue!

This is the first card that I CASEd. It is on page 34. I really liked how the stars from the Holly Jolly Greeting set hang off the 'merry' from the Christmas Greetings thinlits dies.

So I made it into a tag and plonked a Poinsettia made using the Festive Flower Builder punch on top. The end was cut with the Banner Triple punch. So simple but effective I think.
It was really windy when I tried to photograph it. I did have it hanging from a palm tree! To solve the environmental issues I placed it on a gift card stick that was in a plant I had bought for a gift. Problem solved. I think I'll have to buy some plants as Christmas presents now - just to put tags like this on them!

I think that this type of tag would also look great on a present with a simple bow.

The second card that I CASEd is from page 28. I just really liked the layout. It is a bit different to my normal style so I thought I'd give it a go. It's the perfect design to use Designer Series Paper that might be a bit too busy or loud for you. The DSP hides behind the top panel.  I love the jaunty angle of the white panel. How many times have you anguished over the fact that you were 1mm out when placing your panels on?

Here are my versions.

My first is very similar to the one from the catalogue. I have really just combined my first tag with this layout. The Season of Cheer DSP pack has some lovely designs in it. Some are a bit busy for my normal style. I think they work really well here with just a bit poking out.

Once I started I was on a roll. Ideas came thick and fast. I love this bauble from the Delicate Embellishments thinlits set. The gold flower is also from the set. I just glued it over the top of the bauble. An easy way to line it up is to find where the 2 holly berries are side by side.

I went with a simpler design for this card. I used silver cording for the crosses and changed the placement of the top panel. The little scattered stars from the Holly Jolly Greetings set adds a subtle touch.

By the time I got to this card I had many strips of DSP cut so I just kept placing them on the card until I liked what I saw. I had a flower that I had made from the Winter Wonderland vellum stack. The snowflake underneath adds a touch of detail.

Adding a few extra details can make your card into something special. Add some linen crosses. Stamp on your card base using Versamark to give a nice pattern.

Don't forget the inside of your card. A few stamped images adds a nice touch.

Millie, my ever present "assistant", must have misheard me. I said CASE not crease!

Here's what you need to make these cards.
Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

Sunday, 13 September 2015

ESAD 2015 Holiday Catalogue Blog Hop

Welcome to another ESAD blog hop. Whether you are starting with me or have just been looking at all of the great creations from Jessica Williams - it's great to have you stop by.

Well....it's that time again. Stampin' Up! has released their 2015 Holidays Catalogue. Part of me always loves this time - who doesn't love looking at new products and dreaming up all of the great things that you could create? The other part of me goes into a mild panic thinking about all of the things I need to do before Christmas!

With that in mind, the theme of my projects for this blog hop is "Doing Double Duty". I wanted to make 2 projects in 2 ways (one Christmassy and one non Christmassy) using the same products. I always love to think that products that I have bought are not just limited to one time of year.
My first project is a gift bag.

The second is a card with an acetate aperture.

For the gift bag I have used the Winter Wonderland Designer Series Paper (DSP) and vellum stack. I cut one piece in half so that I had 2 pieces each measuring 12" x 6". I simply used one side of the paper for this Christmas version........

......... and used the other side for this version that could be used for any occasion.

Gold foil sheets punched out with the Festive Flower Builder Punch make a great embellishment to attach to a clothespin to secure the bag. A dab of Dazzling Details finishes off the centres.

I used the Gift Bag Punch Board to make each bag using the ‘large’ mark. Assembly is as per the instructions on the board. The tags were made with different widths of whisper white and black cardstock and vellum from the Winter Wonderland vellum stack and punched with the Banner Triple punch. For the sentiment, I used a black marker to pick out the part of the stamp that I needed. This sentiment is from the Embellished Ornaments stamp set. "With loving wishes" is perfect for any occasion.
For the flower I used the Festive Flower Builder Punch and a 7 x 30.5 cm piece gold foil sheet cut and punched as below. I found that if you follow the diagram below you have very little wastage.
Making the flowers is easy. Score each petal with a stylus and ruler and gently crease on the tip. This gives a much better look than just folding.

To assemble the flower place glue on one circle and place 4 of the large petals at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. Add more glue in the centre and place the remaining 4 large petals in between each of the bottom petals. Place glue on the other circle and adhere the 4 medium petals in the same way as the large petals, adding the joined petals on top, filling in the spaces. Add the 2 crosses in the middle. Allow each section to dry, then adhere the smaller section on top of the larger section. You can use glue or foam dots depending on the height you want. Leaves can be added by punching out 3 large petals and adhering to the back of the base. Once your glue is totally dry you can pinch your leaves a little more if you want more dimension. You can also bend each petal up a little.

Try to look at your dies in a different light. As soon as I saw the small round bauble in the Delicate Ornaments thinlits set I thought that it looked like an upside down balloon. Because the markings on the bauble are not actually Christmas motifs it can easily be used for birthdays or other occasions as well.
I also think it works well as a acetate aperture card.

And in the theme of "Doing Double Duty", turn the bauble upside down and make it into a balloon.

The DSP is actually the other side of the bauble strips that I used to decorate the bauble card. I used the balloon basket from the Celebrate Today set to add detail. You could alternately add a bow and string and make it into a party balloon.

To make the card cut a panel for the front and adhere it with 2 small dots of repositionable tape in the position where it will be. Open up your card and position the die in place and die cut through the 2 layers. I found that the outside shape was cut but the under bauble needed to be run through by itself to get all of the fine detail cut out. These die cuts can be used for another project. Cut another bauble from a contrasting or metallic cardstock to use on this card.

Separate the 2 layers. Stamp and emboss at this stage if desired. To the back of the top layer adhere a piece of acetate. Trim off any overhang. Apply Crystal Effects to the back of the die cut and place on top of the acetate. It should fit neatly into the space. Weigh down with a stamping block until it is dry. Add strips of DSP on each side of the aperture on the card base then mount the top layer onto the card front, lining up the cut out shape outlines.

Now I'm thinking about how I can use all of my other Christmas themed stamp sets and dies for other occasions. I'll also have to look closer at my dies to see what else I can use for acetate aperture cards. So many ideas ... so little time!
Thanks for stopping by. Make sure you complete the hop by continuing on to see each person. Next you can pop on over to see the lovely creations made by Barbara Williams.
15. Bernie Collins
21. Lou Kitzelman - You are here!
24.  Jenny Hayward


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Using Decorative Masks - Part 4 - Doodling and Gesso

Here is Part 4 of my Decorative Mask series as promised. It took a bit longer than expected to post it as I got side tracked with all of the new products from the 2015 Holiday Catalogue from Stampin' Up! There are 2 techniques to show you today - Doodling and using Gesso.

Doodling is a lot of fun and can be a great stress reliever! It is so easy. Just place a Decorative Mask over cardstock, grab a marker and start doodling in each section of the mask. Makes a quick and easy card.

You can do any sort of pattern. I love the cross hatch but you can really vary it. Each mask will give a different look.

Using Gesso through a mask can give great texture to your projects. Once the gesso is dry you can colour it with ink or paint.

Partially smearing the gesso through the decorative mask creates a great background for your cards. If you use a dark cardstock such as the Blackberry Bliss that I have used the gesso may take on some of the cardstock colour. In the example below my gesso went slightly pink so I have use Pink Pirouette as my card base.

It's so easy to do. Place your decorative mask over your cardstock. Use a spatula to smear gesso through the stencil. Don't play with it too much. Carefully lift off the mask and allow cardstock to dry. Wash your mask straight away.

I hope that you have enjoyed this series and that those of you coming to a class will enjoy it too.
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