Friday, April 11, 2014

Up the Flagpole!

Soooo, Lythan came up with a fascinating idea of the Daring Cardmakers to play with this week - Although simple on one level, which was just to use a National Flag as inspiration, when you get to thinking about it there are LOADS of possibilities!
Anyway, here's Lythan's Intro: 
Flag it up!

By which I mean I want you to make a card inspired by a national flag. You can use the flag elements as a sketch, or the colours or a motif (stars and stripes for example) You can be patriotic and use your own flag or show your love for all nations by choosing the flag of a different country.
One of these days I'm going to hunt out a really good website for National Flags and see what I can steal from their layout. colours, images etc, but I found myself short of time this week so kept my card simple.  Plan A was to do something based around the English flag and our Patron Saint as St George's Fay comes up later this month - but the phrase "An Englishman's Home is his Castle" popped into my head, and with it the image of adding little flags to sandcastles on the beach - so that's the story of my card for this week
I used masking tape to keep the lower section white, then used a couple of Distress Inks directly onto the card blank to make the background, the words on the little flag were pc generated then the flag shape cut by hand, but otherwise pit was the Silhouette Cameo that did the rest of the work

Th sandcastle template is one I made for another project so that was a result.  I used clip-art to create the two kinds of flags - straight ones for those on the border and a "fluttery" shape and flagpole for the one on the sandcastle.
The big black sentiment is also SC cut - the font is called "Hobo medium" and is one of my go-to favourites 
So the materials list is pretty simple this week, all I used was ink and card!

I really hope you'll head over to the DCM BLOG and check out what the others have done - they were far more creative in their thinking than I was!
Thanks for visiting

Monday, April 07, 2014

Red Flowers

I'm not sure how I managed to forget to do my blog post for Friday's Daring Cardmakers' challenge, but I did - and then I forgot all over the w/e too. So it's a case of better-late-than-never and apologies to Lythan for being so tardy
As it was the first Friday of the month it was our usual Colour Combo Challenge week and as I mentioned, it was Lythan's turn to choose the palette for us to work with. 
I wasn't sure what to do at first, but in the end it had to be flowers.
I chose a couple of different red card shades, some plain and patterned grey paper and cards, and the best shade of green that I could find for the leaves to match up with the inspiration photo

Materials and Tools
Patterned Grey panel is from an old Hot of the Press pad
Oval doily and plain oval on top are cut in two shades of grey card
Red card, Red and Silver pearls, Red and Clear Dewdrops
2x Camellia flowers
Red petals Die'Sire Camellia (small) Quilling flower from Crafters Companion
Yellow inner petals Die'Sire "Lace" Quilling flower from Crafters Companion
2x Medium Roses
Created using own flower template cut on Silhouette Cameo
2x Rolled Roses
Hand-cut from scraps
Leaves cut with  Die'Sire "Leaf 2" Die and embossed with Tumbling Leaves A4 folder, 
Plain oval cut on Silhouette Cameo
Oval Doily die by MFT Die'Namics (Dainty Doily Duo)

Apart from just missing the grey background piece when the lid of my Tacky Glue pot fell off and the contents globbed over my desk and other stuff on it.....this went together quite well in the end.
There's a fab mix of cards on the BLOG this week, all so different in style, but sharing this lovely colour palette

Thanks for visiting, please leave a message ;)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Sketchy Scraps

I've used oddments of papers left over from making my card for last week's "Forgotten Funky" to make my first Sketch File April project.  It's always quite a surprise when I find that, "yes, there is enough in that little pile of left-over bits to make another card!"  Even if, as in this case I had to patch a couple of strips together - but you can't see that because the joins are under other parts of the sketch hehe

This is the April Sketch from The Sketch File - I've stuck pretty close this time
Materials and Tools
Papers: Funky Hand 'Retro Fun Wordbook' download.
Memory Box Fabulous Phlox die set, Dewdrops, home-made decal sentiment

That's it, thanks for visiting, I hope you'll pop back soon

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Funky Retro Fun

Next up on our tour of Funky Hand's fabulous Download and CD catalogue is the Retro Fun Wordbook. 
In this Download set you get all you need to make Anice's famous wordbooks. plus each of the designs as a "regular" paper too - so you don't just have to make wordbooks with this set, but you do have all you need to make and decorate one if you do.
I've always liked this set, the colours and designs are really fab with a great mix of flowery/stripey/dotty patterns and some of the most usable plain colours I have available - I quite often print these out on card as they work so well for many projects
This time I made a card
Materials and Tools All the papers used on this card are from the 'Retro Fun Wordbook' download. Some I've resized and printed to half A4 size and some are quarters of an A4 sheet - that way I get quite a lot on an A4 sheet - even more if I print on both sides ;).  
Also used: MFT DieNamics Perfect Petal Trio die set
Xcut Small circle punch, EK Success border punch
This picture gives you an idea of what's in the download
Retro Fun downloadable craft word book
'Retro Fun Wordbook' download

If you head over to the Get Funky and Craft Inspiration blog you'll see some fantastic projects made using this collection 
That's it for today
Thanks for visiting

Friday, March 28, 2014

Financial Times....

Serious sort of title, eh?
But it's okay, I'm not going to get into a rant about Bankers, Insurance Companies and all the other assorted crooks... ;)
No - it being Friday should give a clue.  It's all about our lovely Svenja's Daring Cardmakers challenge for this week:
Money Makes the World Go Around

I was completely stuck for most of the week as to what on earth I could do - nothing new there - I know I say that most weeks!  In the end I decided to make a piggy bank - it was going to be a shaped card, but in the end I made this
 Materials and Tools
Black, White and Pink card
Patterned papers from MME "Charmed" 6x6
Ribbon, White pen, Glossy Accents, Bakers Twine
"Happy Birthday" Text 8x8 embossing folder from Crafters Companion
Silhouette Cameo to cut the pig
Own template

Here's a quick run-down on the piggy template:
I made the piggy template from scratch in Paint Shop Pro  it's just a series of what they call "pre-set shapes"!
Ellipses for the head, eyes, snout and nostrils,
Rounded rectangles for the feet 
Triangles for the ears.

Once I'd put all these shapes together I reduced all the bits to a single layer, reduced the colours to 2  (Black and White) and then just used the Paintbrush tool to "round" the straight lines on the ears and legs, and to draw in the back legs. Once I'm happy I make sure to save a copy (as a .gif) to use as a master image for the next stage

Next job is to think about the layers I want on my finished item and alter the picture accordingly - I almost always make a base layer which is the full piece and is handy for sticking all the other layers on to
Then I use the paint brush to cut away the lines I don't want on each subsequent section, saving each new image along the way 
So for this piggy:
Base layer is the complete image
Layer 2; cut away the ears and the back legs to leave just head and front legs
Layer 3; remove front legs so that just the head remains
Layer 3; snout with nostrils cut into it
The extra detail pieces to save are the eyes and the inner ear sections

Now I move all the pieces to the Silhouette, resize and get ready to cut - I cut the snout and the eyes 3 times each for some extra dimension
Once cut, it's just an easy matter to ink the edges and  on the head behind where the snout will go, so a darker shade shows through the holes, then glue all the pieces together in their layers and its done

To mount onto the card I raised this image on a box hinge (like the cover of a matchbox) so that I could tuck rolled up cash or a cheque between card and pig to look like it was going into a piggy bank

It all sounds much more complicated than it actually is, but I hope it makes sense

Thanks for visiting today

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Box Full of Flowers

I've been itching to make one of these "card in a box" cards for ages and at last I've done it!  Actually, I did a prototype the other day, but that was just to check how it worked.  I really wanted to use the limited "Mother of Mine" set of papers as I knew the flower design would be perfect to cut in different sizes and use to fill my box
This collection is only available for a couple more days, so if you've not got yours yet hop over to the Funky Hand website and get them PDQ!

As I so often do I printed the things I needed directly onto white Bazzill card.
An A4 piece printed on both sides for the box, then other bits and pieces to make the flowers, grass,decorative panels etc
I printed the flowery paper out in a couple of different sizes and then cut out lots of the flowers to use- some are attached on thin pieces of scrap green card, soem on lengths of wire so that they bounce around.
I cut the "grass" on my Silhouette machine and the butterflies were cut with my brand new Spellbinders "Flutters" die (the large ones) and a little punch for the small ones.

Spellbinders labels 26(?), and Flutters butterfly ide
Wire, Stickles

Download Info:
There are three versions (Mum, Mam or Mom) of the download to choose from - each has the 6 gorgeous papers and both a ready coloured image and a plain one for you to colour yourself

Click HERE to go straight to the right page to grab a set for just £2.99
That's it for this time, I hope you like my little card
Thanks for visiting

Monday, March 24, 2014

Flowers Rock!

Over on the Funky Hand website, there is a special download collection available at the moment.  It's a limited time edition and although it's a special Mother's Day set called "Mother of Mine"  the papers in particular are fab for other times too. 
I decided to make a card just using the papers to share today - to show that despite being a Mother's Day collection, they are really, really versatile. 
I'm very much enjoying the giant set of circles dies that DoCraft kindly sent in my little package for the current sponsored Daring Cardmakers challenge - so I made another rocker card using the Funky Hand papers printed directly onto white Bazzill card.
I printed the flowery paper out in a couple of different sizes and then cut out some of the flowers to use on the card, the words paper makes a great alternative to adding a sentiment - wouldn't that be so cute for a baby card, Valentines. Anniversary or an Engagement card?
DoCraft-Xcut Grand Circles die set
Spellbinders Scalloped circles die set
Green seam binding
There are three versions to choose from each with a coloured-to-match and plain ready-to-colour image plus 6 gorgeous papers, so where you call her Mum, Mam or Mom there's one that's just right for yours! 
Click HERE to go straight to the right page to grab a set for just £2.99
That's it for this time, I hope you like my little card
Thanks for visiting

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Create a Card - new from Crafters Companion

I've been playing with a couple of the brand new "Create a Card" dies from Crafters Companion Die'Sire range over the last few weeks.  They've just been added to the website and today at 12noon they'll be launching on Create and Craft TV    ( Sky 671 Freeview 3Virgin 748 Freesat 813 or watch on your pc

Here's a quick peek and some of the things I've made with these great new dies.
They don't cut out an external line so you can use them in many different ways.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Do (craft) and Die (sets)!

Well - where did that week go then?
So much for creeping in and adding my card just a couple of days late for last week's Daring Cardmakers' Fairy Tales challenge - I finally uploaded it yesterday - I'll show that in a minute.  First though it's this week's rather exciting one.
Our lovely and incredibly talented Beckie Dreyer is also a designer for DoCrafts, and this week arranged for each of the DCM team to receive a nice package of  DoCrafts/Xcut goodies.  There were papers and die-cut sheets from the Gorjuss range, and various sets of shape and alphabet dies - so we have a wide range of DoCrafts products to show off on the Daring BLOG this week,

The challenge this week is a simple one;  
all you have to do is use die-cuts on your cards. - especially Xcut dies if you have them (but don't worry if you don't, just use your favourite dies instead)
Join in with us and you could win an Xcut alphabet die set....

I was thrilled to bits when my giant jiffy bag arrived to find a set of nesting circle dies - the biggest is a humongous 8" diameter!  I know that this die set is going to get a lot of use.  Also in the nag was a rather curvaceous alpbabet die called "Alice" and a sheet of Gorjuss girl die-cuts.
Here's my card

 I used the second largest circle folded in half to make the rocker base, then cut away the part I didn't need with another of the circle dies. 
Next I glued to pieces of card together, then taped 2 of the circles onto it (with washi tape to keep them in place) and cut to create the (red) frame section
The moon was made by cutting a circle from glitter card with a smaller of the dies then using the same die to take a "bite" from it

So I think I gave the cutting performance of these dies a good workout and I'm so pleased to say they did brilliantly well - coping with double thickness Bazzill and even a couple of different sorts of Glitter card - often the nemesis of many dies!
The "DREAM" letters were also cut  from glitter card and I was really impressed at how well the die cut all those fiddly curvy shapes - just once through the ebosser and they popped out nicely
The little girlie die-cut sheet has several pieces so you can build up your design decoupage style - the pieces I used all came out from the sheet really well, with no little teary-taggy bits to spoil the image. She's very sweet and she doesn't have a head shaped like a potato like some do.... ;)

Also used:
Chantilly Lace Doily Stamping Frame - Crafters Companion
2x flowers made using a Marianne die, plus 1 coiled rose
Leaf punch - Nellie Snellen
3x Star punches
Silver cord, Jewels, Bazzill card, Glitter card, Lokta paper for flowers

 Here is the die set you could win by joining in this week

Find out more and see all the fab cards the team have made using their DoCraft and X-cut goodies by clicking HERE

So now a revisit to last wee's challenge which was all about Fairy Tales
I based my card on the story "Ruplestiltskin"  I think I liked this story because at the end he screams "A witch must have told you" and stamps his foot so hard that it goes through the floor - at least it does in the pictures I remember from my Ladybird book!  I will admit to still stamping my size 3 every now and then.......
Papers are from Maja Designs
Die is cut down from a Spellbinders Labels
Spinning Wheel is my own template cut on the Silhouette Cameo
Aslo used: raffia (for the straw), Gold thread, Lace, Gold ribbon. Pink pearls

I'll be back over the weekend with some Crafters Companion projects - there are new dies launching on Create and Craft at the weekend........
Thanks for visiting

Friday, March 14, 2014

Printing and Pyramids Tutorial

I've not got a Daring Cardmakers card to share this week - hopefully that will be along later as I really hate having to miss making my card for the blog.  This week Miri is celebrating the birthday of one of he Grimm brothers by asking for cards inspired by Fairy Tales.
The team have come up with some fantastic ideas, so please visit the blog to see them - and test yourself to work out which fairy tale they were inspired by

Sometmes, life gets hectic and something has to move down the queue - this week it was my DCM card :( With a bit of luck though, I'll be in Fairy Tale mode over the weekend!

One thing I'm trying to do just now is collect up and add side-bar labels for tutorials I've made and blogged.  The reason for this is that I often go to make something and then spend ages looking for where I've put the instructions.  Even when I blog them I forget to add the link in the sidebar, hopefully this will mean I don't spend hours wading through photos just to give me an inkling as to when I made something and help me find my instructions.
This is a tutorial that first appeared on the Funky Hand "Get Funky and Craft" blog and shows how I prepared the designs for printing and making a pyramid shaped card
  Funky Hand Pyramid Card

If you've never made a Pyramid  card before then here's a great way to use your Funky Hand downloads and have a go at one straight away.

I made one of these for the first time a few weeks ago using Bazzill card and then adhering patterned paper to decorate it.  I usually use much thicker card for my card blanks but this style of card is quite bulky when folded.  Part way through making it I had an "A-ha!" moment and realised that using my Funky Hand downloads I could print the first "layer" directly onto card and create a thinner and easier to fold pyramid card base,  
Of course you could simply print your chosen Funky Hand designs directly onto the card without any tweaking at all, but I thought you might be interested to see how I get the most from my sheets of card, as by doing it this way you're left with lots of space on each sheet which you can then print more designs on to use in decorating your card.

 I use an old version of Paint Shop Pro to do pretty much any sort of photo or graphics tasks, but I'm sure that other programs, such as PhotoShop have the same sort of tools.  I thought the best thing would be to do a series of screen shots so that you can then have a look around your own photo-editing program for the similar menus, tools and commands.  

So here we go - you can click on the pictures for a better look!

Step 1

Select the design you want to use - in this case the pink chevron design from 
"I Love You Sew"
Use the tool marked with no. 1 and drag the grab-lines to a rough square shape as indicated in the picture.
Now click on CROP to get rid of the excess "paper"

Step 2

Now you need to find the tool that allows you to RESIZE the image and click on it to open up the resizing window

Step 3

You want to create a square which is about the right size for your project, so go for the ACTUAL SIZE option - this is a fab tip for printing other things like photos and other images just the right size too, btw
* Make sure that it's all set to resize all layers/dimensions at the same time - where I've drawn asterisks on the picture.  I Never touch this section of the box - I just know I'd have a disaster on my hands if I did
* Set to pixels/cms in the box marked no 2 or inches if you prefer to work in Imperial measures
* It's the box marked with no 3 that you change the numbers in rather than the ones marked height/width so as I want a square of around 14cms I changed the number in the RESOLUTION box until the number in the height box were about right 
Remember, I just guessed at the original square shape, the height turned out to be a bit shorter than the width so it's the height I need to get the right size for before printing

Step 4

Check all is well before printing by using the PAGE SET UP command.  It brings up a new window with a picture of how your image will look on the page - like the one below

Step 5

You just need to check you printer settings now
You need to use a thin card (about 160gsm) for this particular project to reduce the bulk and make it easier to fold.  I need to use the REAR TRAY to feed this through, and I need 3 copies
Then click print and you're done.

Once you've printed your three squares, don't cut them out straight away.  Measure how much white space you have below the square and use the resizing method above to crop down some of the other designs, and fill the white space with those designs.  
You're not finished yet as you can print on the reverse of the 3 sheets too. 
 If you want to leave the inside of the pyramid "legs" white, just print on the reverse of the "other end" of the card ie not on the back of where the squares are.  Remember that the inside of the legs will show, so if you don't want them plain white, print each of the three pieces with the same paper design on the reverse of the squares.  
I hope all that makes sense!

Making the Pyramid

Cut out your 3 squares accurately and fold each in half diagonally
Take the first 2 squares and adhere the edge of the upper one to the fold of the lower one matching the points and edges really carefully.  
The edge of the 3rd square is then adhered to the fold in square 2

Hopefully the photos will help make it clearer!

I've used a white square in this middle and clipped the 3 squares together just to show how they all fit - it's not as complicated as it sounds, is it?

Once they are glued together the pyramid just falls into shape of it's own accord really, the two end triangles overlap and are glued together and the base shape is formed. 
At this point you need to squash and fold one "face" in half  inwards so that the card can be flattened to go in an envelope

Now you can use all the extra bits of card you printed out to decorate it - just remember to keep the folded-in area fairly simple or it won't fold up!

In true Blue Peter spirit, here are more photos of the one I made earlier!

I really hope you'll have a go at this - it's sure to impress as it looks sooooo much more complicated than it is ;)