Friday, April 30, 2010

Nice and Easel Does It!

 I've seen them all over the place, of course, but not actually sat down to have a go for myself, but our lovely Paula decided it was time the Daring Cardmakers featured these on our blog and set this challenge this week, and she's made it a bit of a Double Dare
 Easel Does it
This weeks challenge is to make an easel card. There's a big clue in the title, huh?
They are so very popular at the moment but I'm hoping at least some of you will be up for my extra "sting in the tail" to this Dare - I don't want it to be too easy, you know....what I'd really love is to see what type of shape (other than a square) you can come up with using the basic Easel card idea.
So you can go for the easy option and make the simple version of the easel card, or if you're brave enough,go for the shaped option.  
Do you dare?:
Well, I'd never made an Easel card until a couple of days ago, but now I've made two.  I'd started the first of these before I read Paula's notes properly and noticed the extra "shaped" element she's sneaked in there.
Actually though, having never made one before it was probably a good thing to practise by making the simple version first anyway!  As the pile of scrap that went in the bin can testify.

So, here's my card for the "double dare" - an easel card which isn't square - though technically I guess it's still based on the square version, now I think about it....
These fabulously BRIGHT papers are Bo Bunny's "Flower Child" collection. I cut out lots of the flowers from the various papers to make a big potful then arranged them above the pot shape and over the "hinge" of the card so that they stand nigher than the fold (I've not actually checked it'll fit in an envelope yet hehe).  
 You don't need to cut complete shapes out for all the flowers in a bunch like this - you can use lots of "half-flowers" from the edges of the paper, for the ones further back on your design, then just cut out a few of the whole shapes where the entire flower will be seen (got to save some for another day ;)).
I added matching Bo Bunny fabric flowers to the mix, then some buttons, a few beads and some Glossy Accents.
 To make the ridge that keeps it all from falling flat I cut a panel from the same paper used on the inside of the card, adhered first to a layer of scrap card and then to the base section, for extra stability I added some buttons and topped those with Stickles.
The little sentiment is one from the rub on sheets I printed out a few months ago - I was experimenting with a few coloured ones and this just happened to match perfectly.
 My second card, which was actually the first one I made (well half of it anyway....).  
The papers this time are more of the SEI "Claire" collection - they are lovely papers, some are pearlised and some are foiled - the flowers on the background paper of this card all have silvery outlines and really catch the light.
The large flower is made using handmade paper - it's the same as those in my flower tutorial a couple of posts down.  There's a fabric flower with a wired rose on it and then a couple of other flowers made with scraps of paper from the "Claire" collection.
I've used a MS border punch on one of the striped papers, then mounted this on a narrow strip of card to make the wedge that keeps the card upright.
The sentiment oval is a Nesties die and the flowers and brad on the base of the card are also from the "Claire" collection.
I cut Rachel's name suing my Craft Robo.  The name and mat were made using PSP so that they would fit together perfectly.

I know I say it every week, but the Daring Cardmakers team have created some amazing cards for Paula's challenge this week, so please check them out.  If you made a card for Keryn's dare last week, the winner of our prize draw is there too.
If like me you've never made an easel card, don't let that stop you joining in - just go to You Tube and type in "easel card" and you'll find loads of little videos showing how to make them - that's what I did, anyway!
Thanks for visiting and please don't disappear without leaving a comment - I do get round  (eventually...) to the blogs of everyone who leaves a message  and it's lovely to visit them all.

Now I think it's cappuccino time!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Last WOYWW for April

Wednesday is the day we brave souls take a deep breath and point our cameras in the direction of our craft spaces - then post the resulting photos on our blogs for all to see.  It's all Julia's fault  (click HERE for all the info) and if you know all about it and still haven't joined in then you're just a great big wuss (yes, I'm looking at you, Joanne hehehe).

 Fairly tidy today, except for the tiny paper scraps as I was cutting out some flowers from a sheet of Bo Bunny paper yesterday afternoon and haven't cleared the mess yet.
They are for the card which is also here, but I'm actually sure where I'm going with all these bits yet, I call it "organic card making" hehe, sometimes it works, sometimes it's in the bin....
Blu-tacked to my daylight lamp are the flowers I made the other week and the flocked bird I made ages ago - I thought they'd be less likely to be squished - and you never know, they may even get used.
There are a few other works in progress on there today but I've nothing finished and ready to show - so I thought I'd add a close up of my little shelves - it's actually an old spice rack, but it's just right for all the pots of eyelets, brads and other small things.  The blue caddy was a Christmas pressie from Karen at Charmed Cards and Crafts and is now stuffed with various tools that were always difficult to find a home for before (so thank you Karen ;))
The drawers to the left I've shown before, they hold (top to bottom) yet more flowers (there's a surprise), some of my chipboard collection, ribbon odds and ends and the most regularly used punches.  On top of the drawers is a plastic box holding border punches and MS punches as they won't fit in the drawer.  The round tub on the right is for desk top rubbish - I even use it sometimes...., the one to the left holds loads of little binder clips and mini bulldog clips which I seem to use ALL the time!  I don't know how I managed without them!

That's it for today, I'll see if I can get something finished to put on here tomorrow!
No doubt I'll be still catching up on all the workspaces next Tuesday as usual, but do visit Julia's and find out all about WOYWW - it would be great if you'd join in too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Just a Quickie

Wow, it's such a lovely day here - I've been standing at one of the upstairs window and looking at the garden - I'm sure it's the best it's looked since we moved in here - so all that hard work planting flowering shrubs and endless bulbs is paying off at last - still a long way to go though, and we won't mention the lawn ....ahem weed patch.
Remember the Shabby Chic flowers I showed how to make on here last week?  Well, I was just wondering if anyone had  tried out the tutorial when I heard form Ruth at the Charmed forum that she'd made some flowers and used them on a canvas for her newly re-organised craft space - you can see the canvas she's made  by clicking HERE I love the colours she's chosen and her flowers look lovely.  
If you've made some of these flowers, I'd love to see them.

Now for some different flowers!
The other week Linda included a tutorial on her BLOG for making grunge paper roses and as I have more free "play" time atm I couldn't resist having a go.
I love visiting Linda's blog, she always inspires me with her inky, stampy projects - if I did stamping this is the sort of thing I'd like to do - I wouldn't ever want to do cutesy stamps of mouthless people and little animals, they don't light my candle, but the artsy stuff I really admire. 
Anyway, I digress. 
The two on the right are grunge-paper, the first one is made with regular scrapbook paper, in this case I used Crate Paper.
I didn't have the right sort of punch (actually, on reflection I think I do, but I'm not sure where....) so I cut a template using Mr Robo and used that to cut out the 3 shapes I needed.  I must admit, I then got carried away with Distress Inks, Acrylic paints, Glimmer Mists and Glamour Dust - but I'm really pleased at the way they turned out - so "thank you" Linda for the fab instructions! 
I wanted to use them straight away so have been working on a project which I finished at the end of last week.  Problem is I can't actually show it in it's entirety yet - but I just can't resist giving some sneak peeks
Here are the roses, nestled in with a few other bits and pieces, and below is another part of the same project.
That's it for today.  I need to get crafting again so I have more stuff to blog - I spent quite a lot of time on this "mystery project" and enjoyed every minute of it, but now I need to get on and do some of the tasks from the to-do list rather than just the for-fun list!

WOYWW day tomorrow - gosh, they come round quickly, don't they?  usually before I've had a chance to visit everyone on last week's list!  ho hum,
Hope the sun is shining on you today

Friday, April 23, 2010

Die Cut Crazy

Another sunny, bright morning here - such a treat to have this period of lovely weather after that horrible Winter we had!  I've had the radio on this morning and apparently this weekend is going to see some parts of the UK having the warmest weather so far this year.  Shock!  I mean , last weekend was lovely (even warm enough to have lunch out on the patio) - but TWO weekends in a row would be almost unprecedented!  :-)  :-)  Not so chuffed about the high pollen count, but you can't have it all....

Anyway, on to today's crafty stuff

My Daring Cardmakers' Teamie Keryn is a bit excited at the moment because she's just got her hands on a Big Shot, how she's managed this long without something like this is beyond me, but there you go! haha
Anyway, apparently she's gone a bit Die Cutting Crazy so couldn't resist setting a die cut challenge for us this week.
So get out your Spellbinders, Quickutz, Bosskuts, Sizzix and whatever other dies you have lurking in your tool box and make a card using at least one die-cut shape - nice and easy, eh?  Any card, any occasion, any shape.  And there's more - because Keryn is offering a PRIZE as well - pop over to the DCM BLOG to find out all about it and how to qualify for the prize draw - and to see our Die Cut Crazy cards this week.

I set myself a couple of extra challenges to make life a bit harder for myself:
to use some of my older dies and to make a card for one of the THREE nephews we have with birthdays in May.  yeuchhh I don't like making Boy cards, they are sooooo hard!  I think if I was a stamper it might be easier as there are lots of images to help.  But I'm not, and as I can't do the colouring in thing there's no point in going there.

So, here's my very simple card
This one is for the eldest of the 3 May Nephews, who is football mad and supports Liverpool - so obviously I wanted something really bright red - the best I could come up with was actually a piece of wrapping paper.  It's actually quite lovely as it has sparkly, glittery stuff embedded into it, so that adds interest to what is a rather large amount fo plain colour.
The football is a QK die, I cut two of each set so that I could sandwich the thread between the two.
The sentiment is from my sheet of rub-ons made with decal paper from Crafty Computer Paper.  I have a confession to add here though - I'd planned to dig out the old QK alpha and number dies to use for the "16th" bit, just in the spirit of the Dare, you know.... I just don't use them since getting my Robo and  they are somewhere - all together in one box, but I can't find them.  No doubt they'll turn up when the much dreaded Big Upheaval of doing up the study happens.  So, it was back to Mr Robo instead, but it did mean that I could use the same font for the numbers as I did for this particular sentiment.
Football Ribbon from stash, I've only got a tiny piece left - must find more!

I added some green paper (BG, I think) to the inside of the card so that it shows through the aperture.  There was a fleeting, and soon rejected idea of Robo-cutting the marking lines of a football field for the inside - it would be cute, but time's against me atm so maybe if I do something like this again I'll have a bash at that too. 
That's it for today, I'm off now to try and come up with some ideas for those other "boy" think of me in my struggles, won't you?  I need them for an 8 year old, a 10 year old and one of my BILs, then another 10 year old nephew's in June....oh joy!

Happy St Georges Day to you all

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wise Words

The word book that was on my desk yesterday is something I've made using lots of bits and bobs from the Funky Hand Dreams Come True (aka DCT) CD.
After putting off making one for ages I've done a couple in the last few weeks.  This time I've gone with an idea I used quite a while ago for a book of favourite quotations, the little owl in the DCT digi stamps set gave me the idea for the title, and I've converted him to a Robo image to add to the front of the book.  All the papers are from the Blue Magic set on the DCT disc.

Lots of photos so I'll leave them smaller than usual and you can click for a bigger view if you wish.  I've converted several of the digi-stamp images from the CD into templates for cutting on my Craft Robo, they work brilliantly for this, and as I'm rubbish at colouring it makes a great option for me!

Digi stamp Owl

Digi stamp Clouds cut in various of the paper designs

Tree digi stamp - I also cut some leaves to add to the image


This is the Leafy Pot Plant digi stamp with the addition of some Primas and a button to make a flower

Vintage Gramophone  digi stamp (I love this one!)

Birdie digi stamp with a feather tail and ric-rac legs
I really enjoyed making this book.  I keep word doc files of quotes that I like, so that they are easy to find when I need one.  Making books of quotations is a great reminder of the wise words that I've found and stored away - it's which ones to leave out that's the tricky part.  So maybe there'll be a volume 2 along later!
Hope you enjoyed seeing my word book, you can find out all about the Funky Hand CDs and Downloads (there's even a freebie to download as a taster) by clicking HERE

Thanks you for all the comments you've left recently, I'll be having a good old web-wander/blog-hop in the next day or two so I can catch up with everyone again.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wheyhey WOYWW Today

Thanks for popping into my blog this sunny day - the sky is blue, the windows are open and all I can hear atm is birdsong.  Bliss!  For some unknown reason I'm feeling quite chipper today, I'll be feeling even better in a bit because as soon as I've uploaded my blog entry and linked to Julia's wonderful Stamping Ground for the weekly "What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday" hop, I'll be making myself a great big cappuccino.

Not too untidy today - well by my standards that is. In the middle of my desk is a project I finished yesterday.  I thought I'd finished it the day before - but I flicked through the pages and found a whole page I'd missed out - good job I checked before sending this off to Anice.  I guess if when I made a book I worked through from the front to the back, filling the pages as I went then this wouldn't happen, but I don't think I've ever done it that way.  Even with books with identically sized pages I fill them in random order - is that odd?  Do you do it that way or are you a more ordered front-through-to-back page filler?

Hopping around the WOYWW links each week I see lots and lots of wonderful inky creations, and crafters who have stacks and stacks of inks and stamps - so I thought I'd have a laugh this week and show you the sum total of my inks and stamps collection.  Are you ready?
I bet you're shocked at my lack of stamping supplies, aren't you?
The box on the left has clear stamp sets and unmounted ones - most from the now sadly defunct Self Addressed Kits people, and most, I must admit unused.  Next to that there's a drawer with an assortment of "proper" stamps, some foam stamps and s load of those free ones you get on the front of magazines.  The little black box on the left is full of those little "Snag 'em" type stamps.  I guess if I use a stamp once in three months that's about all - but I do use my inks a lot.  The drawer on the right holds my regular sized ink pads and the tray at the front has the Cat's Eye's and dewdrop type pads that I use most of all.  And that, my inky friends is it!  hehehe

If you've not joined in with the WOYWW hop, then click the link to Julia's BLOG and find out all about it.  
I hope you've enjoyed visiting and will come back again soon.  Just before I go and switch the coffee maker on, please take a look at the post directly below this one, as the flower tutorial I mentioned last week is there - I'm really hoping you'll find it useful and if you make any flowers following it, please come back and let me know.

Right that's it for now,
Happy Crafting

Monday, April 19, 2010

Shabby Chic Flower Tutorial

As promised, here's how I made the flowers I've been showing on here recently. 

I've used the thickish handmade "Lokta" paper to make these, but it's worth trying different papers too as they'll all give different effects.  As you can see, I've managed to acquire quite a lot of this stuff - it's lovely for covering books and boxes - especially when I make boxes for special cards as it not only looks opulent with all the paper's knobbly texture , but it also makes for a really sturdy box.

Anyway, on to the flower project....

You'll need
a piece of paper - about A5 will be enough
Stickles Glitter Glue - I like Crystal Ice Stickles
Circle punch (abt 5cms) or cut by hand

There are a lot of photos, so I'll add them in small view - you can click on them for a larger version
1. Cut heart shapes, either using a multi sized die, or just freehand with scissors.
You'll need at least three sets of different sizes,  I prefer to use four sizes of hearts but I think it really depends on what sort of paper you're using
For the 1st and 2nd sets you need to cut 8 hearts
for the 3rd and 4th sets cut 4 hearts in each size
Use a dot of glue to stick the points of the hearts together in pairs - this photo shows all the hearts at that stage, the ruler will give you an idea of sizes I've used

2.  Now put a dot of glue in the middle of one pair of hearts and add the second set of the same size as shown here.  Repeat for all the sets of hearts ending up with something like this
3. I've made a few of these flowers now, and find you get a nicer result by making a base piece.
For this, cut/punch a 5cm circle, fold it in half, and half again then cut as in pic 2 below.  When you open it out you should have something like picture 3 shows.  Set this aside for later. 

4. Now build up all the layers from the largest at the bottom, toi the little ones at the very top, add a little dot of glue at the centre of each floret between each of the layers.  Allow to dry for a few minutes

5.  When the layers are firmly stuck together, take the flower and start to crumple it all up into a ball.  Roll it between your hands as though you were making a meatball!  The crumplier, the better. 
When you uncrumple it you'll have something like on the second photo - if you think it needs a few more wrinkles just crumple it up again till you're happy with the effect.

6.  Next apply some Stickles to the edges of the petals, or wherever you think will look good.  You can use your fingers to move the glitter about a bit.  Leave it to dry thoroughly
Punch or cut a circle of card and stick this to one side of the base section you made earlier.

7. For the flower centre you can use a large brad, or a button, or you could make something like those I've done here
The first is made with  Card Candy. which are domed circles just perfect for flower centres, or to use as faux brads etc .  I wanted to cover this one with black Stickles so I used a beaded pin with a bit of blutack on to secure it on top of the bead while I applied the Stickles - it's a bit easier to do it that way rather than when the Card Candy is stuck to the flower - I always end up with the Stickles getting onto the flower petals when I do that.

8.  Once the flower is dry, apply glue to the punched circle on the base piece and stick the two sections together.
Make a hole through all the layers for attaching a brad, or just glue the Card Candy, button or jewel to the middle of the flower and leave it all to dry for a while.
You can do some extra "tweaking" to get a better shape - but try to get your fingers in between the flower and the base layer when you do this.

The finished flower

Here's another idea for the flower centre

*Punch two or three 1.5cm circles from card and stick them all together to get a firm base
*Apply a thick layer of Glossy Accents all over the card circle
*Drop beads of a single colour, or mixed colours to match your project into the GA, trying to cover the whole circle
*Apply more GA over the top of the beads then leave to dry thoroughly before adhering to your flower.

There you go, all done - I warned you there was a lot of photos, but often pictures help more than words!
I hope you'll have a go at making one of these flowers and will come back and let me know how you got on

Happy Crafting

Friday, April 16, 2010

Flapping Around

Nothing new there, then!
Actually it's "flaps" we've been adding to our cards this week for the new challenge on The Daring Cardmakers - and as it was me setting the dare, I was in even more of a flap than usual.  Mainly because I knew I had an idea for this when I wrote it on our calendar a couple of weeks ago....but can I remember what the idea was? 
     Getting in a Flap

    I'd like to see cards with flaps this week. Little flaps that you lift up or open out to see a secret "something" hidden behind or bigger flaps that form part of the actual card. Maybe even little birdies with wings that really "flap" As long as it's a flap that lifts up from your card it will count - just flat images of a bird or butterfly flapping it's wings won't!
So it came to yesterday and still no inkling into what I had had in mind - it must have either been a brilliant catch-it-while-you-can idea, or else it was so rubbish it took the initiative and consigned itself to the bin!
How embarrassing would it be to fail at getting a card made for my own challenge? aagghh

In the end I remembered something I did for a "food" themed challenge ages ago ( back in 2007 - I've just hunted it out) and decided to give that a new look. 
It gave the perfect opportunity to use the beautiful new sei papers that have been giving me "come hither" looks since they arrived
 Untie the ribbon and open the flaps and inside you find:
 The "Claire" papers from sei are just gorgeous, some have a lovely shimmery finish and some have subtly foiled effects running through the designs.  I bought a few 12x12 sheets and a 6x6 paper pad and I already know I'll be wanting more of these papers!  
The Daring Cardmakers DT have made some fab cards this week (they always do though), lots of ideas for getting in a flap with you own cards - I do love cards with little hidden extras!  You can see them all on our BLOG, and of course there'll be more info on our individual blogs too
What I didn't realise until this morning was that my google image search came up with exactly the same photo this time as when I made the original version back in 2007. For that one I made the whole front of the card into the chocolate box
 That's it for now - Next time I'll be blogging how to make these flowers
I've just got a couple of extra photos to do then I can write it up.  If you want to have a go straight away, try and hunt out some Lokta paper, or other thickish  handmade paper. You'll only need about an A5 sized piece, and apart from that you'll just need some glue, some Stickles glitter glue and some scissors.
I've not tried one of these with other papers yet, if I get time I'll do some experimenting though!
Hope to see you there

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bright and Cheerful

The new set of Crafty Templates are on the loose, along with the optional Crafty Goodies kit for this month.
 I think a lot of the Goodies and some of the Templates have a little of the 50's vintage feel about them, certainly the lovely apron template reminded me of those "Perfect Housewife" pictures you see in magazines from the era - which is why I ended up using it with these colours of card and these paper designs on this little post-it notes booklet
The yellow, green and pink card are all from the Goodies kit, as are both the patterned papers on the outside cover and that lovely heart design ribbon.  I've a feeling that the cherries jewelled brad and the Gingerbread woman brad came from past Goodies kits.  The flowery paper just looked perfect to use with the 50's style pinny template, I cut the frilly edged base, the belt and the bow trim for the apron from pink card.
I found the cute wooden rolling pin in my stash and couldn't resist tying it onto the spine of the book.  I used some BG paper (from my stash) on the inside and added a little pen holder made with another of the paper designs included in the Goodies Kit
 The cake is a rub-on image used on a scrap of card and then covered with Glossy Accents.  The lettering is cut on my Craft Robo.

I love this little flying owl template!  More paper, card and ribbon from the kit, along with a foam circle and button also found among the treasures in the Goodies bag.  The owl is carrying a pc generated greeting and a couple of Prima flowers with Card Candy centres.

This one may be a bit more Hippy era with all those bright colours and cute images - maybe I should have added a few happy-hippy flowers too!
The rainbow in the centre is the template from the set - or half of it anyway.  You do get the full image in the Template Set, but I was awkward and decided to use just one half - what's at the other end of this rainbow is left to the imagination!  One of the papers in the Goodies kit has lots of rainy day images on and I've used three of them on this card.  To echo the rainbow in the lower picture I found colours and patterns from my stash to make the big one, then cut the cloud from another of the papers inn the kit.  I wasn't sure about throwing quite so many colours into one small space, but in the end it seemed to work!  The "sing a rainbow" is another computer generated sentiment - it seemed right to go with the flow and make it as bright as possible.
 You can find out all about Crafty Templates and how to get your hands on the Templates Set and if there are any left, how to order the Goodies Kit by visiting HERE

Thank you for all your comments - they are soooo appreciated.  I've not had a chance to come and visit all those who left messages yesterday yet - but I will get there eventually, I promise!
I'll also get that flower tute on here soon too!
Daring Cardmakers Day tomorrow and it's my turn to set the dare - I'm sure I had something in mind when I put it in our calendar, but obviously that thought is long gone....ohhhhhh dear oh dear, what am I going to do....