Friday, 19 December 2014

Mini Holly Wreaths

I've been having so much fun making mini holly wreaths. They're so adorable and perfectly sized to sit on the front of an A6 card or to make great hanging ornaments for the Christmas tree.


I made the holly in CraftArtist 2 by using the star shape, selecting the number of points and then using the edit nodes function to manipulate the shape.  I then imported the shape (jpeg) into Silhouette software and used the trace function to generate a cut file. Then it was just a matter of filling the page with the holly in a couple of different sizes and cutting them out from lots of different shades of mirror card with my Portrait.  It probably would have been much easier to download the shape from the Silhoutte store, but where's the fun in that?!


I also cut out lots of rings with an outer diameter of 9cm and an inner diameter of 7.5cm to act as the wreath bases.  Before sticking the holly down I hand-embossed each one (using a blunt pencil or scoring tool) with leaf veins. 4mm rhinestones act as berries and the whole thing is finished off with a small bow. 




Various shades of green on the same wreath give the illusion of depth and I also enjoyed playing around with other colours for a more contemporary look. For the hanging ornaments I added a hanging loop and stuck another round of leaves on the backside so that the wreath looks good on both sides.  Made a little bigger they can be used on A5 cards, and a little bigger again they look great as inside door decorations.  I'll definitely be making more wreaths again next year.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Pretty Paper

TK Maxx might seem like an unlikely place to shop for craft and stationery supplies, but it's worth checking out every now and again.  From gorgeous notebooks to paper pads and embellishment packs there are some surprisingly good deals to be had.  Much of the crafty stuff is imported from America and not widely available here so even better value.  My best haul so far was a 180-sheet 12x12 paper pad by Recollections that I snapped up for just £7.99.  

But my latest find (which I L❤VE) hails from these shores; a 2015 calendar by Hammond Gower from their Lace collection.  It's a gorgeous fusion of Kraft card with pops of colour. Love, love, love it! The calendar doesn't actually appear on their website but it looks like it's made up of a collection of their greetings cards. I'll be a happy bunny on New Year's Day when I get to put it up.  Here are some of my favourite months.




Sunday, 21 September 2014

You Leaf Me Breathless


It's the Autumn solstice today so an autumnal-themed card seems appropriate. I've made a gatefold card and used the Sizzix Leaves embossing folder on the two front panels.  I then used pigment ink in red, orange, yellow and green over the embossed detail. The sentiment is stamped on plain white card, then I've gone around the edges with orange ink and finished it off with two pieces of Candi.


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Hummingbird

I made this card for the CAS on Sunday challenge #42 - Sequins Celebration and Crafty Little Fairies - Sparkle and Bling challenges.  I got a set of adorable mini stamps by Hero Arts, including a lovely hummingbird set, which I've used here.  I then painted the hummingbird with mica powders - I love the shimmery effect, although it doesn't really show up very well in the photos. The flower was coloured with watercolour pencils.  


Now, when it comes to stamping and colouring, I'm as fresh as a daisy.  One of the things that I noticed was how the mica powder "paint" partially obscures the black, stamped outline.  If I was going to repeat this card, I think that I would try using an embossing powder, which would then act as a resist and keep the outline crisp and sharp.


I didn't read the challenge properly - I missed the part about "celebration", so I went back sand stamped "Happy Birthday" at the top.  I actually prefer the original version. What about you?


Saturday, 13 September 2014

(Faux) Stitching and Sewing

I made this card for the 4 Crafty Chicks challenge #210. Although I missed the deadline I thought I'd show it anyway.  The brief was Real/Faux Stitching.

A while ago, on a whim, I bought a very discounted We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy with several piercing attachments. I used the crisscross attachment along the left edge, but then I couldn't be bothered to actually sew it, so I did some faux stitching instead.

The dress form stamp was another impulse buy.  I tried to shadow stamp the image in the background, then stamped a clear image on white card, which I cut out and layered right at the centre. 

The sentiment came from a Tilly Daydream paper pack with a stitchy theme. I faux stitched around the edge then made tiny snips all the way around to give the effect of frayed material.

The card looked a little bare so I coloured part of the stamped image and stuck a matching organza ribbon flower on the side. In hindsight I probably should have matched the red from the sentiment instead of using pink.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Let's Get Digital!


Wow, it's been a while! I'm currently taking a long summer break visiting family abroad so I've had little opportunity for papercrafting what with my entire stash being on a completely different continent!  But then I remembered that although I don't have any physical items, I do have my laptop and Craft Artist. Yay!


I had downloaded some background papers last Christmas, but wasn't really aware of the world of digital crafting until I watched Create and Craft TV a few months ago.  My first CD was "All About Alphabets" by My Craft Studio, which also came with the My Craft Studio Elite program.  That was OK but it wasn't until I discovered Craft Artist 2 Professional and the DaisyTrail.com digikits that I really got into it.

Birthday card I made for my niece
I love Craft Artist.  It's a really powerful program and it's also been really helpful for creating flyers, adverts and the like for my day job. You can download the starter program for free from the DaisyTrail website.  It doesn't have as much functionality as Craft Artist 2 Professional, but it's still pretty nifty.  The full program is around £20 but if you sign up to the newsletter and keep an eye on Create and Craft TV (and are patient) you might be able to grab it for less than a fiver, which is what I did.

I'm still very much a beginner, but the possibilities seem endless.  I can't wait to carry on creating.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Wallpaper - The New Paper Pad

I love paper pads, but with a 6x6 pad costing roughly £5-£10 and a 12x12 pad at around £15 a time, they can get a little expensive.  One alternative is to go down the digital route, but that has its own hidden costs and limitations.

The other day, while looking for a new mirror at B&M Home Stores I happened to walk down the wallpaper aisle when a few rolls caught my eye.  Among them was this one:



Isn't it lovely? There's 52cm x 10m of paper on this roll, which works out to the equivalent of one 12x12 pad with 32 sheets, and two 6x6 pads each with 32 sheets, and paper left over.  And because it's all a continuous length it can double up as wrapping paper.  All that for only £4.99 - an absolute bargain! Even at £10 or £15 a roll, that's still amazing value.

The only downside might be that it's all the same pattern, whereas a paper pad will generally offer some variety, but if you choose a design with lots of different elements in it, you can make it go a lot further. 

Here are some of my favourite designs that I found on the B&M website:










Saturday, 14 June 2014

CASE Study Challenge #195

This week I'm joining in with the CASE Study Challenge (CASE stands for copy and steal everything, by the way).  This is the design that was set: 


And here's my interpretation:


I used white pigment ink on Kraft card. At first the white really stood out, but as it dried it seemed to fade a little. Maybe the Kraft card soaked it up. So although I like the result, it's not as punchy as I would have liked. 

Then I thought about stamping with acrylic paint instead, to get a bolder finish, so that's what I did here:


The result is definitely bolder, but it has a different look to stamping with ink. This was my first attempt at stamping with acrylic paint. At first I applied the paint directly on to the stamp, but I was a tad heavy-handed and some of the finer detail was lost.  So then I applied the paint onto an acetate sheet and then pressed the stamp into that before stamping on the card.  The result was much better doing it that way.  It's not as crisp as the ink-stamped version, but I think it has its own charm.

Finally, because the white was not very bold, I wanted to do a comparison with black ink, and here it is:


The design definitely stands out more in black, but I'm not sure which version I like the best.  I was thinking that perhaps the black version would make a nice sympathy card if the white mat behind the sentiment was changed to black.  I also thought that another version of the white using embossing powder might be a good way to make the white stamping pop.


I am entering the following challenges:
Moving Along With The Times - Clean and Simple

Friday, 6 June 2014

Fleather / Faux Leather

Faux Leather from Kraft card

This is my first attempt at making Fleather or Faux Leather using Kraft card.  I first saw the technique demonstrated by Sheena Douglass on Create & Craft TV a few months ago. Since then she's posted a video on You Tube which shows the technique in more detail.

I've been itching to try it for ages, and I finally bought some Kraft card so it was time to give it a go.  I'm really pleased with this first attempt. 

Basic Kraft card on the left, Fleather/faux leather on the right

I used the Far Out Florals embossing folder by Sizzix, and coloured it using metallic copper and orange pigment inks from Hobbycraft.  I think I was too vigorous with rubbing in the water/glycerin because the surface was shedding fibres, and in lieu of spray varnish I used some old clear nail varnish, but the effect is amazing. It really does look and feel like old leather!  I'll definitely be trying this again.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Clean and Simple

I've recently discovered that in card-making circles CAS means clean and simple.  Generally these cards should have white space (or other plain colour I suppose) with few layers and minimal embellishments.



I think that these two cards meet the requirements.  In the first card the topper has beern embossed and inked, with organza ribbon placed behind it across the card.  The sentiment has been stamped.

The second card is quite similar to this one, but I quite like that layout. I made the flowers out of organza ribbon then drew on the stems and leaves.  The pink is a tad more neon than I was expecting when I ordered it!

I'm entering the following challenges:
Card 1
Crafty Ribbons - Anything Goes
Little Miss Muffet Challenge - Button Bonanza
CAS-ual Fridays - Three Thirds
Less Is More - Flowers 
Cute Card Thursdays - Handmade Embellishments 

Card 2
Crafty Ribbons - Anything Goes
CAS-ual Fridays - Three Thirds
Less Is More - Flowers 
Cute Card Thursdays - Handmade Embellishments 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Spots and Stripes

I made this card for the Paper Crafting Journey Spots and/or Stripes challenge.  I've really embraced the theme by using stripes of spots and stripy spots! 

I started by laying stripes of spotty washi tape onto A6 card. Then I trimmed about 0.5cm (maybe slightly less) from each side.  I then embossed it with an embossing folder (Tim Holtz Texture Fades Retro Circles) and went over the raised surface with a white ink pad, and covered that with clear embossing powder to give a nice glaze.  Finally I cut the card into quarters and attached it to the backing card.  The whole thing is finished off with a simple, stamped sentiment.  I added the organza bow as the sentiment on its own seemed a bit bleak.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Gift Tag - Just Because



I  think that this might be my first gift tag.  For inspiration I looked at lots of tags on Pinterest and Google image search, but they either seemed really elaborate or too simple, but then I suppose this is quite simple too.  After all it's only strips of Creata glittered card on a tag, embellished with paper flowers with flower sequins at their centre. I stamped "Just Because" on a smaller tag and then passed some organza ribbon through both.

I am entering the following challenges:
Paper Crafting Journey - Spots and Stripes
Creata Challenge - Tags and Bags
4 Crafty Chicks - Flowers

Friday, 9 May 2014

Less Is More Challenge - 3 colours


This was supposed to be my entry into the Simply Less is More Week 170 Colour Challenge, but I missed adding my link by a matter of seconds! 

The challenge was to use 3 colours, or 3 shades of the same colour.  I used pink, purple and turquoise circles and simply drew on stalks and leaves.

For such as simple card, it took me ages to come up with it!  But I think that it's quite sweet in its simplicity. 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Cardmaking Challenges

One of the most difficult things that I find when sitting down to craft is thinking of what to make.  I sit down with all my crafty stash around and... nothing.  Without a pattern, or a plan or some sort of guide it can be overwhelming.  There's simply too much choice.  What materials should I use, how does everything go together, what layout would work best, what colours should I use, which embossing folder, which dies, which papers, and so on, and so on.

So I decided to find a few papercraft/cardmaking challenge blogs to help me out.  Having someone else come up with the idea leaves me free to focus on the making.

Here is a card that I made with a summery theme.  It's a bit of a departure for me as yellow is not one of my "go to" colours.


I used the Sizzix Tim Holtz Rays Texture Fades embossing folder on yellow card stock and highlighted the raised areas with yellow ink.  I've tried to emboss the rays but I think I need more practice with that.  The butterfly and flower are from the Sizzix/Hero Arts stamp & die set, which I've coloured in with Spectrum Noirs.  The small flowers are also die cut from Creata patterned and glittered paper.  The sentiment came with the latest issue of Papercrafter magazine.

I am entering this card into the following challenges:
Cute Card Thursday - Here Come Summer
Crafty Cardmakers and More - It's a Bug's Life
C.R.A.F.T Challenge - Make Your Own Embellishments


Sunday, 4 May 2014

My First Card



This is the first card that I made. It was for a friend's birthday last September.  Her nickname is "Lolly" so I thought a card with a lolly on it would be just right.   This is when I first started to realise that card composition was a lot more difficult than it looks. It's not a bad first effort, but if I were making it now (with my wealth of experience... LOL) I'd do a few things differently, like adding a little dimension by using foam pads on the lolly, increasing the size of the main lolly a little, possibly using some extra matting & layering to frame the lolly better, and I might ditch the flower embellishment in favour of something "sweeter" ;-).

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Hello!

I love paper. In fact I've always had a thing for stationery - pens, pencils, pencilcases, paper, gift wrap, you name it.  I haven't always kept in touch with my paper passion, though it occasionally showed up from time to time - the stationery cupboard at work was one of my favourite places. Then just before Christmas 2013 my passion for all things paper was unleashed with a vengeance!

Image via createandcraft.tv

The seeds were sown in late Summer when I stumbled upon (and promptly became hooked on) Create & Craft TV, which inspired the seemingly harmless decision to make my own Christmas cards.  Shopping for supplies started a chain reaction, which shows no sign of slowing down.  I was introduced to a whole new world of pretty papers, delightful embellishments, stamping, embossing, die cutting...  You get the picture.

Now, you should know that I've also got a thing for fabric, yarn & haberdashery.  It seems that I have a need to express my creativity by making things.  I delight in the whole process of taking a set of separate elements, and then combining them to create something completely new. It's marvellous!  So although I barely have time to spend on my existing crafty interests, I'm embracing this awakened interest in paper into my crafty fold, and as it's nice to have somewhere to document my journey I decided to set up this blog.

So here's to a new adventure. Let's see where it takes me!