Monday, 28 April 2014

Proper crafting - a card for a real person!

I don't seem to get round to sending cards that often any more and, when I do, I generally take one from the huge box of previously finished projects.  This weekend I made a card for an actual person, from scratch, and with a totally free hand, not trying to make it fit a challenge or DT obligation, or show a technique or product.  I just made something I knew the birthday boy would like, and it felt goooooood.

The birthday boy in question is my Dad, a lifelong organic veg grower, painter, and bird-lover, and I recently bought a decoupage and paper pack that could have been designed for him - Papermania's "Home to Nest" by Lucy Cromwell.  I really love Lucy Cromwell's painting style, and I think I like this collection almost as much as her Henbury Lane collection, one of my all time faves.  All I added was some card and some garden twine style fibre.

Here's what I made.  I hope you like it.  Dad did!




What I used:
Papermania "Home to Nest" Ultimate die cut and paper pack
Dovecraft fibres (muted colours)

Crafting notes:
  • When using die cuts, I always take the time to remove the 'bobbles' left from where the die cuts attach to the sheet.  I snip them off with scissors, but you can also rub them off with a nail file.  I think the finished project looks so much better without them.
  • Even the best die cuts have bits on them that I would have cut off, so I always go round and snip those bits too.  The die cuts have still saved a lot of time, and anyway I enjoy cutting decoupage!
  • The twine is stuck onto the card as three lengths, only on the front, as it was a bit bulky for wrapping round the card - the card wouldn't have closed nicely otherwise.  To stick it down, I ran a line of PVA glue along the edge of a ruler and then pushed the fibre into place.  I cut it with a tiny bit extra, so it looks like it's wound round.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Layout 10 - Pumpkins!

Into double figures, yay!  I'm tempted to revise my target for the year, but you never know what's around the corner, so I will wait until I finish my 12th layout!

The last couple of layouts I've done have proved quite tricksy, so I picked a simpler single photo layout for my tenth scrapping project of the year.  The picture I chose was of Bob being very happy that the Riverford lady had just arrived with a box full of huge orange veg.  Luckily I recently acquired some pumpkin papers in a big mixed load, so I didn't have a huge amount of choosing to do.  The layout itself evolved from a sketch from the July 2012 Pagemaps archive.  It's one of the fastest layouts I've done and, as usual, all feedback gratefully received:


What I used:
Papers: Karen Foster "Thanksgiving Dots", "Thanksgiving Stripes", and "Magic Pumpkins", I wish I could remember where the background paper was from, as it's my last sheet!
Embellishments: Chatterbox Alpha stickers (tangerine), Stickopotamus Jolee's Boutique "Autumn Leaves", Pumpkin eyelets (can't remember where I got these either), Craft Planet felt
Tools: Crop-a-dile Big Bite

Crafting Notes:
  • I cut a small pumpkin from the magic pumpkin paper on which to write the date of the photo.
  • I made the felt pumpkin to match the ready made felt leaf embellishments (and I should say I'm ridiculously happy with it!).  I couldn't sew the stalk on without the stitches showing, so I cut a silicone glue dot in half to attach it.  To do this without gumming up your scissors, sandwich the glue dot between two layers of the backing sheet.
My felt pumpkin!


  • The journalling strips are attached to the photo using pumpkin eyelets, but I stuck them to the photo first so they wouldn't move around while I set the eyelets.  I matted the photo onto card too, to make sure the photo didn't buckle.
I love these little eyelets!


Monday, 21 April 2014

Crafting Cafe April Challenge Again

This month's challenge over at the Crafting Cafe has two sponsors and, although I've already shared a project using a Delicious Doodles image, I thought I'd do a second project featuring something from Kenny K, and here's what I came up with:

The basic idea of the image smashing out of the card is, err, borrowed from a project made by my friend Janice many years ago when we both demo'd for docrafts.  The bike is mounted on a spring too.  I hope you like it!

What I used:
Papers: Papermania "For Him" Colossal paper pack, Dovecraft "Masculine" by Jayne Bentley, Papermania Kraft card
Tools:  Dirt Bike Mike digi stamp, Papermania watercolour pencils, Papermania metallic pencils, Studio g mini alphabet stamps
Embellishments: Papermania spring mount.

Challenges:



Sunday, 20 April 2014

Layout 6, no, 7, I mean 8, er ... 9

Finally!  After much dithering and mind changing, I'm very happy to share my 9th layout of the year.  I started it at the beginning of March, expecting it to be a quick single page project with just one photo of Molly in Autumn leaves.  I thought it would be nice to include the triple embossed leaf that I posted here, rather than a bought embellishment, and I used the lemon card, rick-rack and stamp from that on the rest of the layout.  Several things were stuck down, and all I really needed to do was to work out what to say in my journalling.

But then I remembered that we took a nice piccie of Bob in the leaves that day too, and I realised a 2 page layout would be nicer.  Luckily I had just one more sheet of the paper I'd used as a background too!  That photo wasn't printed though, so there was some delay waiting for me to order from Photobox.  For a while I clung on to my basic layout for the first half, trying to echo it in the facing page, to look something like this:


I left it on my desk for a while, trying to get happy about it, but finally gave up and laid things out fresh.  I worked out a layout about which I was happier (though not ecstatic), but then started to dither about the journalling and how to present it.  I decided that some hessian, like on the "Autumn" title, would help to bring the two pages together.  Incredibly, I didn't have a single piece of plain hessian in my stash.  Glittery hessian, yep, rubbery hessian-style mesh, yep, normal stuff, no.  A rummage on eBay fixed that - I now have so much I need to look on Pinterest for ideas to use it up!

Here's the finished layout:


I'm so pleased to have it finished, as I've felt bad about starting other projects with it still outstanding.  I'd love to know which layout you like best.  Maybe I'll find another piccie to make the original 1 page layout 
too :-)

What I used:   
Papers: Brenda Walton "Amelia Blocks",
Embellishments: Creative Imaginations leaf stickers by Pamela Woods, Papermania Pampered Pets letters, Stickopotamus Jolee's Boutique "Autumn Leaves" fabric title
Tools: Inkadinkado Maple leaf stamp, Forever friends brown ink, Whispers Caramel Delight ink, Purple Cows deckle trimmer blade, Boofle "Textured Backgrounds" stamps, Chalk ink

Crafting notes:
  • I stamped maple leaves in two colours onto the Brenda Walton paper.
  • The leaf stickers are not completely opaque, so I stuck them to card of different colours (white, lemon, and beige) to slightly alter their colours, and provide more variation.  To fix them to the project, I used PVA on the stalks, and small strips of foam tape at the tips, to (hopefully) give the idea of leaves fluttering around.
  • I stamped a couple of fabric weave patterns onto the cardstock letter stickers and the card I used for the journalling and date, to tie in with the fabric title embellishment.

Challenges:
I'm entering this project into the following challenges:

Monday, 14 April 2014

Crafting Cafe April Challenge - One for the Boys

The theme over at the Crafting Cafe this month is "One for the Boys" and so I decided to get uncharacteristically ahead by making a Father's Day card (ironic, as I'm a day late posting because I thought today was the 13th, doh!).  I chose an image by Delicious Doodles that reminds me of childhood holidays in Devon - the exquisitely detailed "Harbour Scene".  I'm not much of a painter, type of image, where all the shading is done for you, is perfect.  I've coloured it with watercolour pencils, using my special 'scribble' style of application, before going over with a water brush to blend the colours.  As I say, this type of stamp is very forgiving!

I tried my painted image over all sorts of nautical papers, before plumping for something very different.  I hope you like it!



What I used:
Image: Delicious Doodles Harbour Scene digi stamp.
Papers: Papermania Inspiration stack "Cool Tones"
Tools: Papermania watercolour pencils, Kuretake brush pen, Purple Cows trimmer with fancy wave blade.
Embellishments: Anita's outline stickers, metal anchor charm from a random eBay shop.

Crafting tips: 

  • When blending watercolour pens on smooth card, use as little water as you can to avoid warping the card.  If you make a mistake, dab quickly with kitchen towel.
  • I always blend colours on the card - colour with pencils of different colours, then add water to the card to blend them.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Layout 8 and my first double!

This layout is my first go at a 2 page 12x12 layout.  I've done a few smaller 2 page layouts before, many years ago, but this is the first time I've considered it as a single layout that happens to be on two pieces of card.  It's been a frustrating project - lots of thin mats and lines that absolutely had to be straight.  Not something that would usually frustrate me, except that it proved something I've wondered for a while (but had been discounting as operator error) - that my guillotine no longer cuts square.  On one of the cuts, it didn't even cut straight :-(  The project also needed some hand colouring, which proved something else I've been trying to ignore - that I finally need glasses for close work. *Sigh*

This project features my little boy's first Christmas Day as a full participant, and I wanted to capture the fun of present opening with some vibrant colours and cheerful patterns, so this is a much busier layout than I'm normally comfortable with.  The things that leapt out of the photos for me were red, blue and stripes, so I picked papers that featured all these.  I really loved the little rhyme about Santa delivering presents on one of the papers too. The layout itself is based on a sketch from the September 2007 Pagemaps archive.

Here it is, I'd love to know what you think:



What I used:
Papers: DCWV Christmas Value Stack, DCWV glitter stack, Journal block paper
Embellishments: Doodlebug rub-on letters, Papermania chipboard sentiments, Forever Friends Cosy Christmas letters, Sparkly stocking bunting and Ho Ho Ho ribbon of long forgotten origin.
Tools: Forever Friends Handscript Numbers stamps, Marvy le Plume brush marker (persimmon), Studio g mini alphabet stamps.

Crafting notes:

  • If you end up with a non square project, pick (or cut) a reference line that you know to be square. Make the opposite edge parallel by measuring up from the reference line at each edge.  Line up your good edges on a cutting mat with a grid and stick down with low tack masking tape, then use the grid to cut the other edges square.
  • None of my red inks were bright enough for the lettering once stamped, so I coloured over the stamped images with a dark red pen.
  • The Studio g stamps I used (for the word "proper") are rubber stamps on wooden pegs.  To position them properly, look from the side as you stamp.
  • I didn't have a die or template large enough for the curved mat behind the last photo, so I made one from a smaller die like this: 
    • Trace around the photo onto scrap paper and fold along the horizontal and vertical halfway lines.
    • Position the corner of the smaller die outside one corner of the photo space and draw around it.  Extend the lines to the centre folds.
    • Refold into quarters and cut round the template, through all four layers at once.
  • I annotated my photos with rub-ons.  Make sure you choose a brand that's easy to apply, as photos mark if you have to rub hard.  I coloured the heart in using a permanent marker.

  • To make a rosette, sew running stitch along one edge of your ribbon then pull up until you can make a nice circle.  Sew or stick the ends together.