Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Happiest Birthday Card

Goddaughter Genevieve is definitely getting the paper and glue bug and when she came around last Thursday for pizza we spent another happy 4 hours cutting and pasting up a card for her younger sister Susie's birthday.

We decided we wanted a colourful funky card to reflect Susie's personality and we wanted a funky design.  A couple of weeks ago I had seen a folded card which I thought would be quirky enough and after a quick prototype in printer paper (my attempts to describe the folds were abysmal failures!) we agreed on that shape.

We considered some shrink plastic flower embellishments - and although we had a great time making them they weren't right for the card so have been put aside for another day.

In the end we decided to let the colourful card be the focal point so we cut triangles to fit into each of the spaces in 4 colours.  We cut out a few co-ordinating hearts and flowers using the Imagine and added in a 'Celebrate' I had leftover from the invitations to decorate the outside.  A couple of gems in the centre of the flowers and we were almost done.

For the inside we used the Beaded Square Spellbinders to cut a pink frame, layered on a piece of silver mirror card and added a final layer of the same pink with Happy Birthday cut out (again using the Imagine).

Gen and I love it - and I hope Susie does when she opens it tomorrow!

Years of dipping in and out of origami over the years helped with recreating what I'd seen.  If you are interested below are some measuring/folding insructions for a card made out of a 8x8 inch square card (we used a 10x10 square piece of Core-dinations green for the card).

1. Along each edge score a line at 2 inches (NOTE: if you are using another size card, replace 2.5 inches with 1/4 the size of the card - eg 2.5 inches for a 10 inch square, 3 inches for a 12 inch square)

Fold each edge towards the centre along the score line, and then unfold it. 

In this photo I've coloured the score line orange so you can see it -- clearly you shouldn't mark yours  - unless you want to for some reason - in which case you should! :)

2. On each corner score a line between the two score lines.  Probably easier if you look at the photo -- it's the dashed blue line (again coloured only so you can see it!).  Fold each corner to the back and then unfold it.

3.  Finally, score a line between the centre of each side to the centre of the next side.  (See the brown line in the photo.)  Fold along each of these score lines to the back and then unfold it.

(Honest this is easier to do than for me to write!)

Finally - you are ready to fold the card into it's final shape!  If you have carefully prepped the fold lines as above you can bring the centre points together and this funky little shape will appear.  You may have to do some coaxing the first time - use this photograph as a guide.

Now you can decorate as you like!

It Started with A Bran Flakes Box

As I think I've hinted at once or twice this paper playing stuff has led to a startling spending spree.  Ironic then that the focal point of this card began life as a Bran Flakes box.  If only all of my supplies were so reasonably priced!

One of my many 'oooh I want to try that' moments was watching some Paint Fusion stuff.  It actually took a while to convince myself to take the plunge - I am no artist - but eventually I could resist no longer and a stack of acrylic paints and stamps arrived.  I hadn't bought any card suitable for painting and thus the Bran Flakes canvas was born.

I covered the card in an off white paint which I let dry and then covered with a layer of PVA glue.  When the glue was 'about halfway' dry I covered it with a dark blue paint and let the crackles happen.

A few of Sheena's daisy stamps arranged on to the blue background and then the real fun could begin.  I couldn't believe how easy it was and my first attempt was pretty successful I thought.  I did have one hairy moment - the top daisy was intended to be facing away but I messed it up so improvised and turned it into a full on daisy facing this way.  I didn't think it turned out too bad and decided it was worthy of my best friend Caroline's birthday card.

Having decided on this the rest of the card came together pretty easily.
I used a lovely flower Creative Expressions mask to emboss some blue Core-dinations card.  A little bit of sanding and dusting and that was ready to go. 

I had just invested in some Spellbinders 'gromet' tags and used one of those to add the Daisy label.  I took Sue Wilson's advice and stamped the word 'Daisy' as the first step, then positioned the Spellbinder around it and cut and embossed as normal.  Leaving the Spellbinder in place I gently coloured the label with  Weathered Paint Distress Ink  

A couple of  silver self-adhesive dots were added to look like nail heads.

On the inside of the card I used a stamp from one of my favourite sets - Hero definitions - but needed to crop it to fit inside the Spellbinders Beade Square frame.  I did this by creating a mask of a 2x2 square, used that to stamp only the 2x2 bit of the stamp onto the card. I then positioned the Spellbinders frame, cut and embossed it and finally lightly coloured the embossed circles while the Spellbinder was still in place and covering the centre square with some scrap paper.

I was really pleased with the card. Not bad for my first Paint Fusion effort and Caroline loved it!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

....a Commission (well, a commission with no fee - but still...)

Gorgeous best friend Caroline has a very talented nephew who is part of an indie band Proud Proud People.  Caroline and her family held a summer party last week featuring a live performance from the band and she asked if I'd make some invitations for her.

I had a lot of fun pondering ideas and the final design made use of lots of my recent crafty purchases.  My kitchen table was unusable for a few days but I had a blast making them.

The base of the invite was a 6x6 piece of card in blue.  In  the centre I added a piece of green Coredinations card, embossed in the Cuttlebug with the Swiss Dots folder and then sanded lightly.

All of the embellishments were designed on my Gypsy and cut on my Imagine. 

The 'Celebrate' is from the Gypsy Wanderings cartridge (free with the Gypsy) and I filled the phrase and shadow with patterns from the Better Together cartridge on the Imagine.

The sun is also from Gypsy Wanderings, and I added in the 'summer' in a font from Simply Sweet.  I cut the suns out of plain white card and then  used Distress Inks (Scattered Straw and Rusty Hinge) to add some colour.

Finally, I cut Proud Proud People using a Schoolbook Plantin font from a piece of bright pink Coredinations  (well, in fact I cut many 'Proud Proud People' at once and then guillotined them into little squares) and layered them onto a piece of silver mirror card.

Lots of Pinflair glue to give it all some height and the front was done!

On the back I used the Craft Artist programme to provide the details.  This was the first time I've really used the software and found it easy enough to use but I have a lot to learn and every now and then someething would happen which I didn't expect.  Thank goodness for the undo feature which meant I was always able to get back to where I wanted to be!! 

I'm pretty pleased with the final result and Caroline was too. So my first (and possibly only) commission was successful - if not lucrative!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Passing on the Inky Goodness

Following the fun of Leonie's workshop last Sunday - gorgeous goddaughter Genevieve and I spent a few hours with lots of ink, a bit of glitter and some glue last Thursday.

We had a great time - and I think Genevieve is hooked on ink!  We made lots of bits of paper experimenting with lots of inky techniques and trying out my ever growing collection of stamps.  I am in love with a set of 6 Tim Holtz sentiment stamps and tried to shoe horn them on to EVERYTHING.

I am seriously addicted to Distress Inks and if I could would buy every single colour. In fact, I found a site that sells a FULL SET of the inks - but apart from the cost I don't have anywhere to keep them all.  As it is paper is taking over my house.

We also broke out the Pro Markers I bought from Create and Craft last week.  Colouring is as much fun as I remember it being from my childhood.  I think it would be hard to be in a bad mood when you are colouring.

Genevieve managed to finish a card (more than I've done in weeks!) which she made for her sister.

Monday, 6 June 2011

How Much Fun Was That??

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend a workshop yesterday run by Leonie Pujol (one of Create and Craft's presenters) in the lovely little village of Castor just outside Peterborough.

As a newbie paper crafter it was my first workshop and I couldn't have asked for a better one.  Leonie was brilliant fun and very inspiring.  The able - and very funny - Andrea aka Magic Hands helped with the organisation and as a beginner crafter herself joined us in the card making.  Great for me - as it was nice to have a fellow beginner buddy.

The other attendees were all fun and enthusiastic and the day flew by.  I expect we all would have hung around much longer if it hadn't been for the dang Viking invasion of the village hall at 4.30.

We spent the morning making three cards and in the afternoon just played around with distress inks and air drying foam and shrink plastic and angelina fibres and doing a bit of shopping (for all of the above!)

The first card was the acetate scallop card with the elegant lady silhouette. It was my first acetate card - and chief among the challenges was keeping the acetate clean!  We used a clear enamel on the silhouette (I have to get some of that) and white enamel to make the dots (I have to get some  of that too).

The second card was a cute little tag card with flowers which meant we got to play with some distress inks. So much messy fun!  There were lots of different coloured inks for the cards and each one I saw  made me think -- oh! that's my favourite colour.

The third card was an Artist's Trading Card (or ATC to folks in the know)(which I wasn't) (so I had to ask!) and we used utra thick embossing powder (I need to get some of that) and mica powders (I really need some of those) on the flower and some lovely green cardstock. I've forgotten the brand - but it was like Coredinations.

Gorgeous goddaughter Genevieve is coming around on Thursday for an extended gossip and pizza sess and she's asked if we can play with some paper. Can't wait to have a go with all the new stuff I've learned (and acquired)