Playing with new crafty products

I’m sorry it’s been a while since I posted. Real life got chaotic again. My bearded dragon was egg bound and the poor little creature had to be spayed, they found two necrotic eggs when they opened her up. There were lots of vets visits, and then lots of extra hours at work to past for it! Also, we’ve had yet another fertility treatment.

Anyway. I may not have been posting, but I’ve been crafting. And buying. 

One of my purchases was a set of three cut and emboss folders from XCut. There is an elegant lady one, a cottage window, and a steampunk cogs one in my set, although a mistake with mine means I’ve currently not got the window, but have two sets of cogs. All three of these give a cut out frame in the middle of an embossed panel, and some cut out details in the main panel.

The cogs one is my favourite anyway, I do love the steampunk style, it’s so fun to embellish and go all out with.

Gilding wax is one of the few mressy craft products I actually use; the others I love the idea of, and drool over other people’s makes, but they sit on my shelf looking pretty and gather dust. I invested in a new one yesterday, a red bronze Cosmic Shimmer metallic gilding polish which comes with a really useful little sponge in the lid to apply it with. 

I cut pieces of kraft card to fit the embossing folders, and passed them through my Big Shot. I’ve used the folders before and only needed one pass, but my machine isn’t as young as it was, and Kraft card is very fibrous, and I found I actually needed 6 passes to get a really good emboss and all the bits cut neatly. 

Once cut, I got out my heatproof mat to save my work surface (aka carpet) and my new gilding polish, then I put a fairly thin layer of the red bronze polish over, focusing on the raised areas. I also made sure the edges of the apart were coloured.

Now I had two lovely frames, I had to think of how to use the. I’ve got some Tim Holzt stamps which should look good behind them, and some steampunk Christmas stamps, but my mojo was quite low. Back to my trusty kits.

I bought the Kanban steampunk collection ages ago, it is great for quick cards with a bit of a twist. I put my frames against various toppers in the kit, and fell in love with two designs. I picked out complementary backing papers and I was ready.

Both toppers were round, which meant that some of the edge was visible through the cut out bits of the embossed area. I stuck the frames over, then trimmed out the areas which I didn’t want.

I used a very basic, simple design because of how wow the papers were. I cut pieces of the background papers to 121x171mm, and attached the frames central on these. I used a red bronze metallic card stock as a background layer (125x175mm, hollowed out because I can’t get hold of it anymore and it’s my absolute favourite), and I attached the whole card front to 7×5 card blanks. 

One card I made into a birthday card by adding a sentiment from the kit. The image I had used was of a pilot, so I decided to give the impression of a waving flag, or Biggles’s scarf, by bending the sentiment. This one, I added an insert to as well. The second card I wanted as a general greetings card, so I used my Dymo label printer to make what I felt was a fitting ‘hello old chap’.

I love heavily embellishing my steampunk designs, but both of these cards are to be posted and it’s a) expensive and b)  a good test of the adhesive I’ve used. I thought as the background papers were very detailed and so clearly steampunk that just a little twist would suffice. I added an aeroplane charm to the pilot card, and a key charm to the  other card which had locks and keys on the papers.

Finally, but which doesn’t show on the photos, I added glossy accents to the goggles of the pilot, and the gauge of the inventor.

Advertisements

New home cards

My mum asked for two new home cards. One is for old friends of hers, one for new neighbours of known ages. Hopefully you’ll be able to guess which is which.

For this first card, I chose papers from my current favourite pad, a tropical collection which I got from The Works for a whole £1. I wanted classic colours, but with a hint of a modern pattern. I had an antique bronze coloured key charm in my stash, and thought it would be perfect for a new home idea. 

Personally, I tend to prefer making square cards, so this is square, but it would look lovely on a rectangular base too.

I cut my less bold paper to 7mm smaller than my card blank, and layered it onto kraft card (it went who the colours) 3mm bigger, thus leaving a 1.5mm border all around.

The second paper was cut to a square measuring 90x90mm, and layered onto a square of kraft card, allowing a 1.5mm border all around. 

I tied a piece of hemp thread through the key, and used double sided tape to afix it to the back of the smaller square. Then, I attached the small square centrally on the card from, and attached the whole front to the card blank.

 The bow was on and off about 10 times before I decided I liked it, still not 100% convinced, though. 

Finally, I stamped the sentiment directly onto the card. I used a Hunkydory For the Love if Stamps sentiment set, and a black ink.

This second card grew from me finding the image of the gentleman having his diy disaster on the Hunkydory USB 2 which I bought on a whim. He is from the Oldies collection. I thought it would be fun to create a card with another disaster on.

 I was so proud when I remembered how His Lordship had taught me to print, set out off when I went to bed as it takes ages. I broke the printer! HL has managed to do a (very) temporary fix and despite the ink running out as well, it printed! Unfortunately, we’re now in the market for a new printer.

I chose papers which reminded me of 1970s wallpapers and what we’d probably see now as bad taste, likely in a house which needs a bit of TLC and diy. The papers are from my Tonic Studios Simply Patterns pad. I chose a blue base because the topper had printed mainly blue and pink, so I edged it with a blue ink and carried on the theme.

To give the idea of plaster, I used kraft card for my matting and layering. I cut the patterned papers so they each covered half of the card. I stuck the bottom paper down first.

In line with the diy disaster theme, I wanted the card to look like a strip of wallpaper had come off. I carefully ripped a strip 20mm in from the left of the second paper. I stuck the larger piece in line with the bottom patterned paper, then rolled the top of the strip down and glued the strip back in place, the roll showing the ‘plaster’ beneath.

To cover the join in the papers, I used a piece of twine to suggest a dado rail, attaching it behind the card front.

My topper was also matted and layered on kraft card. I wanted to keep the diy theme when I attached it, so I used a brad in each corner to hold it in place. I used a sharpie to draw lines to resemble screws.

Finally, I stamped a ‘new home’ sentiment onto the ‘plaster’, and attached the card front to the card base. 

Deco birthday card

Last week I was practising drawing with my Scan’n’Cut. One of the resulting images was an Art Deco lady from the Tattered Lace Glitz and Glam USB:

I spent a while staring at her trying to decide how to colour her, then inspiration struck. Texture and colour in one, use feathers!

I have a lot of coloured feathers which were cheap in The Works, I like using them to embellish Deco style cards, but I’d never thought of using them as a more focal element.


I used Tacky Glue to draw over the dress on the image, then lay feathers over. It looked bland when I’d done, so I added a shiny bow across the waistline and I was really pleased with the result.
I wanted to keep my card elegant and Deco in style. I really liked the focal sentiments I tried last week, but I needed something more subtle.

 I got the foiling kit for my Scan’n’Cut, but hadn’t played yet. I used Brother Canvas to download and resize the flower ring, then foiled it. The foiling is really easy and I was thrilled with how it looks, although I did manage to foil my sticky mat and waste a lot of foil. Oops.

I stamped a Happy Birthday sentiment in the middle. This panel was as wide as my 7×5 card blanks, so works as a focal element.I attached the Deco lady to the right hand side of it, covering some of the foiled flowers but leaving the shape of the pattern obvious.

The paper I chose was from my First Edition Noir et Chic pad. Fairly subtle but glittery, and a 1920s style design. I didn’t want a heavy background so I decided to create two further panels, meaning that the white of the card blank was able to show through in more places and stop the card feeling too heavy.

What do you think? I’m pleased with it, especially because it’s combining new techniques

Playing with a freebie

Who doesn’t love a freebie? One of my favourite things about the Create and Craft club is the members’ gifts which are available periodically. I like that there are different things, some which I’d not buy otherwise, some which are just a real treat.

The most recent gift was a gorgeous 8×8 paper pad Raspberry Ripple from Paper Boutique. I have several trees worth of paper, but I just love it. I can spend ages just looking at my favourite collections, especially smelling them (His Lordship finds it strange, but I’ve heard lots of other crafters admit to the same). As soon as I saw the gift, it was in my basket and on its way.

My copy of the club magazine arrived a couple of days ago. It included inspiration on using the members’ gift as well as information on a discount on further Raspberry Ripple items. I decided not to buy the toppers, I have a growing collection of dies and stamps, and my underused Scan’n’Cut, so thought I’d be able to complement the papers with my existing stash.

Today was D-Day and my gift arrived. Cup of tea in hand – held well away from my precious papers – I stroked the papers and admired tge patterns. I spent a happy couple of hours playing, and here are the results:

I like using negatives where possible, i was pleased with how the papers hang together here

This was cased from one of the samples in the magazine, i changed the orientation, paper, sentiment shape and decoration. I really like this

A simple little notelet using a Tim Holtz die for a sentiment

This is my absolute. I usesd my Tim Holtz ‘beautiful’ die again. The black really seems to pop. I do like the spiral flowers, too, they’re less fussy than a lot of others

Experiments with my Scan’n’Cut

I’m ashamed to say that my Scan’n’Cut spends a lot of time sitting gathering dust. I love it, but it’s a bit too clever and daunting for me, and the mats lose their sticky very quickly (perils of being owned by a cat, his hair gets everywhere) which has cost me a few projects to my consternation. Most of what I use it for is cutting mats and layers, it’s great being able to cut perfectly with my own increments, not ones dictated by die size.

Every so often I have good intentions about using it more, often when I see it being demo-ed on Create and Craft. Today was one of those days.

First, I drew for the first time. I chose three images from the Glitz and Glam USB which I fancied as stamped images and set it to drawing them on plain white card. I tried the colouring option on the plane, it’s covered a lot of the detail link although paler than the original lines so they’re still visible. At first I was unmoved but looking at these again I am increasingly keen on the effect.

Next, I thought I’d try emulating cards I like which focus on one large sentiment, so I chose two of the preset words – Happy Birthday and Noel. I shrank them slightly from the set size, then cut them from Kanban red mirri board. 

As I was removing the cuts from the sticky mat, I realised that I real like the negatives too, so played with masking tape to keep the bits in place ready to be made into cards. 

The cut outs, I mounted on Kanban foiled sentiment card with complementary themes – more birthday words and presents. I kept the cards themselves very simple to really show off the sentiment and the shininess.

I used scraps from my inherited stash for the background for this

A very simple easel card. I mounted the Kanban sentiment card on a piece of white paper with red polka dots and then layered this onto a piece of gold card. The stopper is a scrap from the Kanban foiled card and three punched balloons.

I was chuffed with these, the big bold sentiment appealed. I had a bit of time left, I had intended to play with the machine more, but I used the negatives instead. Still simple and very shiny cards, pretty though.

Scrappy challenge

When I was making dresses and decorating cards with them, I was using my First Edition Noir et Chic paper pad. I’ve had it for years, love the patterns and glitter, and I adore all but one of the papers. As always happens with well loved pads, it’s becoming very depleted and full of unused scraps.

I set myself the challenge of using my scraps.

How to:

This card is a very simple make.

Cut a gold mat to fit a 7×5 card blank with a small border around, then layer on a piece of cream card with a 1mm border. Don’t attach it to the card blank yet.

Cut scraps to more or less the same height (I used 50mm). Don’t worry if some are a little short, it’ll be hidden. Make sure the edges are straight.

Using your card front in a landscape orientation, glue the scraps along the bottom. Make sure you keep even, straight borders – because it’s such a simple layout, any wobbles are so obvious.

Take a piece of ribbon and attach over the tops of the scraps, again being careful to keep it straight. This hides any imperfections in height. Fasten it behind the card front. Add a bow if you like them.

Attach your card front to the card blank.

Add a sentiment to the opposite side to your bow. This can be stamped or die cut. I didn’t trust myself not to smudge a stamped sentiment at the final hurdle, so I turned to my new favourite’happy birthday’ die from Trimcraft and cut it in gold.

I managed to use a very few, lots more scrap busting needed.

Dressing up cards

When I’m home alone and have a bit of time to myself, ie the housework is done or ignorable, I put Create and Craft on and spread my current project over the living room floor. Tuesday was a day of ignoring the housework (we still have forks, and we’ve both got underwear, I can get away with it). 

I was watching today and was pleasantly surprised too see Kathy from Trimcraft on with Dean, especially when my blog got a bit of a mention! I laughed all the way through the show, and was very proud that I managed to resist temptation. Kathy showed how to make origami dresses and Dean crafted along with her. I’ve made these before, and even blogged about a card with one a year back, but it’s one of the techniques which has fallen from my regular repertoire.

Inspired, I spent a happy hour making dresses. They’re so sweet, like a little wardrobe of paper prettiness, but I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I turned back to my trusty mojo booster: Pinterest.

Here are the cards I’ve been making with my dresses. 

Using Noir et Chic by First Edition, and a Trimcraft die

I love the red bow, the only addition to First Edition’s Noir et Chic papers

Using Craftwork Cards’ Antiqued paper collection

Using Craftwork Cards’ Antiqued paper collection again

One of my go-to paper pads, Antique Pinks from The Works

And two dresses spare, yet to be added to a card