Wednesday, 25 June 2014

9th Anniversary

I love making themed wedding anniversary cards, so I was very pleased when one of my friends asked me to make one for her husband.  It's their 9th anniversary, which is pottery by the traditional list, leather by the modern list, and poppies by the flower list.  I had made a leather themed card for their 3rd anniversary, so I plumped for pottery and made this card with 9 poppies in a vase, taking the colour scheme from the poppies:  I hope you (and my friend!) like it.  Happy crafting!

What I used
Papers: DCWV "Elegant Wedding" 8x8 scrapbook stack, stitched mulberry paper
Tools: Papermania "Poppy Fields" stamps, Marvy le Plume red pen.
Embellishments: Pottery vase (ebay), Anita's gold line and Anniversary peel-offs,

Crafting notes
  • The vase of poppies is made up of poppy heads stamped from several stamps in the set, individually cut out so they could be arranged.  The stems are hand drawn, and I've stuck the flowers down with different thickness foam pads.

  • I use silicon glue dots to stick hard and heavy embellishments like the pot down. The dots stay flexible, so there's a little give if the embellishment is knocked.  Other glues dry so hard that I find embellishments tend to fall off if knocked.
  • The script paper is really for a wedding, but only one of the quotes is wedding specific, so I just positioned it carefully!
  • I put inserts into almost all of my cards, and I love to add little touches of decoration to them.  Here I've stamped a small poppy in the bottom right corner.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Pots of stencilling fun

Before I became a regular crafter I wasted huge amounts of time trawling through DIY and 'lifestyle' shops trying to find things I liked to match my decor, and pots for house plants seem to be particularly hard to find.  That or I'm just very unfashionable with my colour schemes!  Anyway, now I have a lot more fun making my own accessories, and I get to save time and money too.

For my third project for Country View Crafts, I've decorated a cheap, plain terracotta plant pot with a variety of paints to match my dining room.  The things I wanted to match are the wallpaper (a blue and gold design by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen) and the curtains (Crowson Tournament):
Fleur-de-lys motif on curtains

Gold and blue on wallpaper

I used a mix of metallic acrylic paint, glimmer glaze, alcohol inks/mixatives and crackle glaze to decorate my pot to match, and echoed the fleur-de-lys on the curtains by adding a stencilled lily.  Here's what I came up with:

Full instructions can be found on the Country View Crafts blog.  I'd love to know what you think.  If you haven't tried this kind of thing before, please do.  It's very simple to do and the result is something you can enjoy for a long time.

Happy crafting!


What I used: 
Paints etc: Tattered Angels Glimmer Glaze "midnight rendezvous", Artiste acrylic paints "Antique gold", "Metallic sapphire", Ranger Inkssentials crackle accents, Adirondack alcohol ink "rust" and alcohol mixative "gold", Ranger blending solution
Tools: That Special Touch "mini floral masks"
Embellishments: Blue adhesive gems

Crafting Notes:

  • To get a patchy paint effect on the background I brushed glimmer glaze over a lighter colour using a stiff brush.  I then dabbed more paint on using a washed baby wipe.
  • To make the crackle glaze effect more noticeable, I rubbed rust alcohol ink into the cracks.  To leave it only in the cracks I then wiped over the pot rim with some blending solution on a cloth.
  • I used temporary spray adhesive to help hold the mask in place and to minimise 'bleeding' of the gold underneath the mask.
  • I used alcohol ink/mixative on a cotton bud to touch up the design, and to add rust alcohol ink to the centre of the flower.
  • Don't forget to paint the top inch of the inside of your pot!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Crafting Cafe June Challenge - Love and Marriage

The theme over at the Crafting Cafe this month is Love and Marriage, and it's sponsored by Bugaboo.  As luck would have it, I actually did need a wedding card this month, so I was able to kill two birds with one stone :-)

Wedding and birthday cards are probably the most likely cards to be kept for a long time, so I always like to use the wedding invitation as a guide for the style and colours that the bride and groom like.  For once, I knew immediately which paper I was going to use for my friends' card the minute I saw the invitation, as I have some almost identical!

Invitation on the left, Papermania paper on the right

I chose Bugaboo's "Our Wedding Toast" image to work with, and coloured it with Promarkers, which I'm still not comfortable working with, but I do want to keep trying.  I kept the design for the card clean and simple, like the invitation.  Here's what I made, I hope you like it!

Happy crafting!

What I used:
Stamps and tools: Bugaboo "Our Wedding Toast" digi stamp, See D's stamp set "Celebration messages", Promarkers, Whispers permanent brush markers
Papers: Papermania "Flowery" Colossal paper pack
Embellishments: Organza ribbon, joined hearts metal charm

Crafting Notes
  • I made up the paper and orange card panel separately so I could wrap the organza ribbon round at each end for a neat finish.
  • I used a silicon dot under the ribbon to keep the heart flat and in place.
  • The joined hearts charm started out silver, but I coloured it with a permanent marker.
  • When cutting thin pieces, like the 'Congratulations' banner on this card, use low-tac masking tape to hold the piece in place.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Popcorn for Country View Crafts

Teddies aren't generally my thing, but there's something about Tatty Teddy and Popcorn Bear that I really love.  Typical me, liking the hairy ones that are more fiddly to cut out!

Country View Crafts has a sale on of Popcorn Bear stamps at the moment, so I chose a couple of sets to work with for my second guest designer post for their blog.  I've used them to make a card two ways - one for Father's day, and one more feminine for any occasion.

Both cards feature a frame made from striped paper, and layered backgrounds made using alcohol inks and watercolours.  Sadly I haven't inherited my Dad's skill with a paintbrush, but I think the combination of an alcohol ink layer over a very basic bit of painting helps to give the illusion that something arty has happened!  I'd love to know what you think!  Full instructions for the card can be found on the Country View Crafts blog, but here are pictures of the two layers I've used.  For the feminine card, I've added a layer of vellum between the acetate and the watercolours, to make the hills look more misty and distant.

The top layer is acetate with green and blue alcohol inks dabbed over

The back layer is a very basic landscape painted in watercolours

What I used:
Papers: Dovecraft "English Garden" 8x8 stack
Tools: Popcorn Bear "Thinking of you" and "Father's Day" stamp sets, Adirondack alcohol inks - lettuce, denim, botanical, Adirondack alcohol mixative - pearl, Adirondack blending solution, Adirondack applicator tool, Papermania watercolour pencils, XCut fence die.

Crafting notes:
  • The Popcorn bear stamps are sold unmounted and uncut, so the first time you use them you need to cut out all the stamps.  Leave a gap of a couple of millimetres around each image when you do this, or you'll find it hard to get a clean image.  You don't have to mount the stamps before use, but it's more convenient if you do attach them to something like U-mount. To use unmounted stamps without this, use a glue stick or temporary adhesive to fix the stamp to the mounting block and wash off thoroughly afterwards.
  • When cutting out a fluffy bear, I cut a smooth outline first, touching the edges of the 'fluff', then snip out 'V' shaped pieces of white from between the stamped lines.
  • I made a frame for the card using striped paper.  When marking where to cut the mitred corners, I use a pokey tool, as it's more accurate than a pencil, and it can be used to mark both strips at once.
  • To give the stamped flower embellishments some shape, I placed them on a soft mat and rolled a large embossing stylus around in the centre.
  • The images in the Father's Day card are from a single stamp, but I separated the elements and rearranged them.
  • The stripy paper I used for the frames isn't made up of parallel lines, so it wasn't possible to get all parts of the stripes to line up perfectly.  I concentrated on the boldest stripe - I really like the effect.