Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Made a few cards for charity.

Good afternoon, it's a nice bright day in East Anglia today, all the cats are out in the garden, most of the neighbourhood dogs are basking in the sunshine in their respective gardens, and when I have finished this blog, I shall be joining them, so it's likely to be a quickie!
Below is a selection of cards that I have made using cannibalised commercial greetings cards that various friends have donated to me.  Even if you can't use the image the cardstock is brilliant for using with the Gelli plate, the reverse side of the image is after all just card. I also discovered (by accident) that if you put a Gelli print onto the shiny side of the card, you sometimes get a ghostly apparition of the original image coming through, it is really cool when that happens!
Obviously because of the commercial nature of the images I have used, I can't sell these cards, so my plan is to have a coffee morning later in the year and offer them for a donation. All the money will go to the MS Society, which for obvious reasons is a charity that is very close to my heart.

So this is the whole selection, and below you will find the individual cards with a brief description of how I made them.

So this one was originally just the image of the two birds on the cherry blossom. It is just matted and layered onto black and two shades of pink card, with an abundance of die cut swirls, twiddly roses, leaves and die cut bird cage and yet more swirls. The tiny flowers in the bird cage are made from paper clay - watch this space for more info on paper clay!

My favourite! The image is cut from the original greetings card, then mounted onto dark brown card which has hearts stamped and clear embossed onto it. The paper flowers are from a kit from Stephanie Weightman (not sure if thats the right spelling - sorry Steph!) The swirls and leaves are cut from the rest of the original card, so they all match. Card candie in the centre of the flowers.

The original card is the background paper on this one. Just added swirls and flowers and a couple of butterflies. The reason for all the peel-offs and corners etc, is that I could not get the damned thing on straight, so I used border p/o's, but they wouldn't stick down on the corners, hence the rather over the top (even for me) corner p/o's.

All I did here was to cut the image down a bit, add a few gems, and mat and layer. Took about five minutes, but I really like this one.

More matting and layering, I did foil the edges of the image, and add the flowers down the left side though.

Matted on to gold and then onto a dark brown card, peel off round the edges (same reason as before - I so need new glasses). Added the sentiment to hide the one that was already there, and added the butterfly on the left and the one on the sentiment.

This one hasn't photographed very well, the colours are much more distinct in reality. Mounted the image onto brown and then pink. The green background was clear embossed with dandylion clocks and then I put a strip of ribbon onto a strip of brown and stuck it down the right hand side.

The original card was the floral poppy image, again I foiled the edges of the image and offset it with the piece of white card. Matted onto bright pink, which in turn went onto the white base card, added swirls (having a bit of swirly day today) and again used paper clay flowers. It looked OK, but needed something else, so I added the butterfly, on the premise that everything looks better if it has a butterfly on it!

Hope you have enjoyed looking at these cards.  I had fun making them, and I used up quite a lot of bits that have been lying around for ages. So don't chuck your old cards out, even if you can't use the images on them, you can use the cardstock with your Gelli.

Thank you for looking, 'til the next time, have fun!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Craft Club Cards from Sunday - bit of a new technique!

Good morning everyone, once again it is a grey old day in East Anglia, so another day in the craft room planned. Selling my and Janet's cards at Harleston Farmers Market at the Swan Hotel in Harleston on Saturday, do pop in and say hello if you are in the area.
These two cards are what we did at the Sundae Club last Sunday.  I hope you like the tweaking that I have done on a Barbara Gray technique...... read on.....

I did this card 7x7 inches, but there is no reason why you shouldn't use smaller flowers and make the card any size or shape you wish. The original inspiration was from a card made by one of Sheena Douglass's design team, but it was done with the hibiscus flowers and  film and fibre, but given how many flowers there are, and how many of us there were at the club on Sunday, that would have been an awful lot of film and fibre, so I experimented!  When I watched Barbara Gray a little while ago, she did a technique with a laminate sheet and alcohol inks, and it occurred to me that if you can put a laminate sheet through a machine that heats it up enough to melt the adhesive inside it, you might be able to heat emboss on it, guess what? can! (if you are careful!!)

So this is how you do it:

  • The basic card is just matted and layered with gold and cream cardstock, and the corners decorated with a corner punch (corner peel-offs would be just as good)
  • Because I get panicky if I have to do shapes free-hand, I die cut a circle out of smooth cream card and stamped and embossed the sentiment onto it, then stuck it in the centre of the card, that way I had an outline to follow to form a circle of flowers.
Making the flowers.
  • Open your laminate sheet and drip alcohol inks randomly onto the inside of the sheet, the ink will spread into the adhesive coating.  I used Sail boat blue, butterscotch and a red that looks like you've had a nose bleed, (but persevere, once it's done it looks lovely), try to avoid getting the ink near the edges of the laminate sheet, or it will all squidge out and mark your laminating machine.  Leave these colours to dry for a couple of minutes.
  • Add some drips of gold or other metallic alcohol ink and blend it a little using an ink blender and a dabbing motion.
  • Sprinkle on a few gilding flakes, close the laminate sheet and put it through the laminating machine in the usual way.
  • When your sheet comes out it will be warm and very static - put it onto a cool surface and leave it for a few minutes. The heat and also the static will dissipate.
  • Once the sheet is cold to the touch, stamp your flowers in Versamark.
  • It is important to use an embossing powder that has a low melt point like Wow powders or I used Aurora Black  from Cosmic Shimmer. Tip your powder over the image, and give it a sharp tap, and use a paint brush to clean up any stray bits of powder.
  • I have only done this with my heat gun, which is quite fierce, but it seems that the trick is to heat the powder quickly. Allow your heat gun to heat up before you try to emboss with it, hold it quite close and move away as soon as the powder has melted.  The laminate sheet will buckle slightly, but it really just adds to the look of the flowers.
  • Cut out your flowers (I used Sheena's Fantasy flower stamps in the middle two sizes) and stick them in a circle around the sentiment (Glossy Accents was my glue of choice for this as it is completely clear). I also 3D'd a couple of the small flowers with Pinflair glue gel. 
  • Decorate the flower centres with gems, and you are done.
  • A word of warning.. leave your card flat until the glue has dried!

Continuing the minimalist theme that appeared at our last workshop, we also this little card.  It is just a very simple stamped image really.

  • Base card is 5x5 inches, looks best if you use textured card.
  • Cut a 4 inch square of the same cardstock. and three squares of 1.5 centimetres.
  • Stamp the image in black and emboss with clear embossing powder (the panda is a very old Stampendous stamp).
  • Colour in the leaves and bamboo stem.
  • Stamp, emboss and colour the top three leaves three times, and cut them out.
  • Layer your stamped image onto black card, and stick it to the base card.
  • Stick the three small squares in a line onto the card with 3D foam pads and stick the cut out bamboo leaves onto the them.
  • Again, beware of marks and blobs, there is no room for error on a minimalist card!
Thank you for taking the time to have a look at this blog entry, I hope you like what you have seen. Feel free to leave a comment if you wish.  
Do try the flowers if you have a laminating machine, the photo doesn't really do them justice.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

DivaRed Workshop - Saturday 1st June 2013

As always we had lots of fun last Saturday, we did miss Janet though, who was off on a visit to her sister in Switzerland.  Because I was demonstrating all the cards I wanted to do four cards that were completely different, so I did, on occasion wander right out of my comfort zone!

This is quite a simple card, but the use of a liquid glaze and pearly paints gives it way more interest, and makes the colours in the flowers much more vibrant.

I made this card 7 x 7 inches square, but there is no reason it could not be any size you wish.

  • Cut a square of white card to 6 1/4 inches square, and piece of darker colour card 6 1/2 inches square to layer onto.
  • Punch a decoration on the corners and then using a blending tool, ink the edges with a water based ink (ie Distress or Adirondac) I used Stonewash Adirondac. If you start inking at the corners and work down the edge, you will get a darker colour on the punched area which is a nice effect.
  • Stamp your flowers with a non-solvent based ink (ie Memento) allow it to dry and then colour in your flowers with Pro-markers. 
  • Stamp and emboss your sentiment onto a spare piece of white card and mat it onto a piece of your dark card.
  • Stamp and emboss your butterfly onto the card.
  • Choose two or three colours of the pearl paint and sponge in splodges onto a piece of white card, leave this to one side for about 10 minutes and then using a clean dry piece of sponge, gently blend the colours using a dabbing motion (don't swirl or you will end up with a muddy butterfly, and you really don't want that!)
  • Dry the paint with a heat gun. I would recommend that you pop off and have a coffee at this point because the paint needs to be completely dry before you move onto the next stage.
  • Stamp and emboss the butterfly two or three times, depending on the stamp you are using (I used Stamp Addicts cloth butterfly, which is one of my favourites because the layers are really defined and very easy to cut out, which is always a bonus). Cut out your butterfly layers.
  • Mat and layer your main image onto the card base, mat and layer the sentiment and use 3d foam pads to stick it to the card. 
  • Stick your butterfly layers on top of the butterfly image already stamped onto the card.
  • Now that everything is stuck together - the final flourish!  Using a liquid glaze  (I like the one that Ranger makes because it dry quite quickly) go over the foremost flower heads and leaves, leaving the ones in the background unglazed, this gives you a real perception of depth in the image.
  • LEAVE TO DRY ---- DO NOT POKE AT IT TO SEE IF IT'S READY YET!  After all that work you don't want to ruin it with a CSI type trace!

This is my favourite card from Saturday, partly because I have a bit of thing for owls, and partly because it's red!

You can buy this shape card pre-scored and pre-cut, I am planning on a separate page on this blog with instructions for fancy fold cards, but for now, I recommend a look round Craftwork Cards web site, I am sure they do this type of card.

  • Firstly resist the temptation to fold your card, leave it flat, it is much easier to deal with.
  • To mat and layer I used gold and a patterned card from the Taj Mahal card pad. It is a bit of a faff to measure all the various areas, but as you can see, it is worth it in the end. I cut my gold mat 1/2 cm smaller than the actual area, and then cut the patterned card 1/2 cm smaller than the gold. You need to measure the strip across the bottom of the card, both the pillars, and the bit where your owl is going to sit.
  • I strongly recommend that you use wet glue to stick all your layers to the card so you can slide it around as it looks most odd if it isn't straight.
  • The owl stamp I used is from Woodware, I actually got it free with a magazine, but I think it is available to buy. I stamped it three times onto different coloured papers, and stamped the wings and beak in the red. 
  • Cut out and layer up the owl.
  • Die cut a cream oval and stick it to the base card, this is because you need something plain behind your owl to make him stand out.
  • Stamp the branch in brown and leaves in green (these are with the stamp set). The branch is actually straight, but you can manipulate it on the acrylic block so it has a bit of a bend if you wish.
  • Cut out the branch and leaves and stick them onto the base card, then sit the owl onto the branch - to do this I cut off his legs ..sorry!
  • Die cut or punch out some swirls and either punch out or stamp and cut out some flowers and decorate around the two pillars, allowing the swirls to go over the edges, this will give you a sense of dimension when the card is folded. My flowers are from Tonic Studio's perfect partners flower punches.
  • I found that the easiest way to fold the card was to slide my fingers behind the two pillars and then through the slits, so they were behind the pillars but infront of the owl, move them to the bottom of the card and push the fold downwards, the card will then naturally take shape and you can firm up the folds with a bone folder.
  • Cut a piece of white or cream card to fit the back of the card and stick it in place so you have somewhere to write your message, and you are done!

Now this one is not like anything I would normally do, but I really liked it when I had finished it.

I was inspired by Eileen Godwin's white circle card. You can find the original on Eileen's blog Eileens crafty zone. Do go and have a look you will be she is amazing!

  • This card works best if you use textured cardstock, I used one that I got from my local craft shop, but Eileen buys hers from Papermill Direct.  This is a 5 inch square card which I made up from an A4 sheet of card. The most important thing with a minimalist card like this is to avoid inky fingers, drops of coffee (read my Facebook page!!) and other random marks.
  • I die cut my squares using the largest square and the smallest square from the regular size nesties. You need one large and three small.
  • Stamp the Allium (I used the one from Clarity Stamps, but anyone will do) using a permanent ink (Stazon, Archival, or Versafine) in black.
  • Attach it to the card using 3D foam tape.
  • Then using the small 3D foam squares attach the tiny squares in a line and put a small black gem in the centre of each.
  • To make the Allium stand out I used a clear glaze over the top of it. Again do not touch it until it is dry.

This was my final effort. It is meant to represent the view from the front of our house. We have a couple of deer who live in our garden, so when I saw this Memory Box die, I just had to have it.

  • The card is A5 and I have trimmed it to 14.5cm x 20.5cm. Because the front is bowed it needs to be trimmed or it won't fit into a standard envelope. If you are going to box it, you can leave it the standard size. Again I have used textured card for the base card and the aperture, but plain for the background.
  • First cut your layers, gold 14x20cm , textured card 13.5 x 19.75 cm, plain white 13 x 19cm.
  • Die cut the aperture from the middle of your textured card. I used a fancy shape from Go-Create, which I bought from the Stamp Hut.
  • Using the plain white card create a scene. I stamped the trees from a very old stamp I bought from QVC in Vintage Sepia Versafine,  but any tree stamp will do. My stamp has a few lines on it to ground the trees and I just extended them to make fields using a fine tip brown pen. Do this using dots and dashes instead of block lines - its a lot less scary.
  • The sun was already on my stamp, so I masked that off with a piece of sticky note, and used my blending tool to put some blue on the sky area and green on the grass area. Then I coloured in the trees and highlighted the fields with promarkers. Coloured in the sun, then extended the yellow out a bit and blended the colour out with alcohol ink blending solution which I applied to the back of the image and then just left it to bleed into the sky, this will only work if you colour your sky with water based ink. If you use promarkers on the sky and the sun they will merge into a green haze rather than the sunny mist you are aiming for.
  • I thought it looked a bit flat, so I used a quickie glue pen and dotted round the tops of trees and drew along the field lines then added a bit of crystal glitter which lifted the whole thing and made it look like a dewy dawn, which is what I was aiming for.
  • Mat your scene onto the gold card and stick it onto the card base.
  • Die cut your deer in a brown card, separate them and stick them onto the back of the aperture so that they are peering out.
  • Stick a piece of acetate on the back of the aperture- it's easier to cut the acetate larger than necessary and trim around the edges.
  • Put a strip of double sided tape down the two short sides of the aperture. Stick one side to your card, then stick the other side allowing the aperture to bow slightly.
  • Decorate with card candy.
  • Finally, put a few white dots on the fawn's bottom (they have spotty botties!)
So all done, it has taken me nearly as long to write this as it did to make the cards in the first place. Hope you like them. Working on a plan for Sunday's craft club now. 
Thank you for taking the time to have a look at this.  Please feel free to leave a comment if you wish, it is an open forum, I will only change that if I get really nasty or obscene comments.