Sunday 29 June 2008

Update on Punch Storage

In April, I posted a picture of my punch storage and said that I was wanting a drawer system. Originally when I looked at these Storage4Crafts drawers, I dismissed them, because the two drawer sizes available were too shallow to accomodate all of my punches. But on a return visit to the site, I discovered that they have added a new drawer size, and it perfectly accommodates my larger punches. So I now have a lovely tower of drawers, with three depth sizes. You can choose your own selection of sizes, and arrange the drawers in any order you wish.
I have put the punches at the bottom because of the weight. Stamps towards the top in the 1" drawers, and plenty of drawers left over for pads, powders, stickles pots, and other bits and pieces. Haven't finished filling them up yet. AT 14" wide they fit just nicely in a gap that wasn't much use for anything else. I will be putting labels on the tops of the handles - eventually. For now I use guesswork - sometimes more successfully than others!
Now to work on paper and card storage. . . . .

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Friday 27 June 2008

Touch of Nature Trio

After this one, I think I'll have to do something other than a group of 3 flowers!

For this card I have used the Touch of Nature set from Stampin' Up. Such lovely flowers, and so easy to get them to look good! I just inked up the stamp with red on the flower and green on the stem. I stamped the flower image twice on post it notes so that it was partly over the sticky part. Then cut them out and used to mask off each of the first two flowers so that I could layer them. Then used the blender pen to draw the colour off the stamped image and fill in the flower. Added a little yellow to the centre, which combined with the red ink already there has turned a little orange. Once the image was finished I cut it to size, then embossed with a Nestability square die. Chalked the edge and matted onto green card.
The background is stamped with red ink onto the red card using the fern leaf stamp. Used my 1/2" circle punch to shape the corners, and then matted onto more green card. The 'brads' are 1/4" circles punched from card stamped with the flower centre and coloured in using the blender pen. Then embossed a little from the back to make them cup slightly. You can see them better if you click on the image to enlarge. All mounted on to a pre-scored cream card base. The reason for not using real brads is that this card is for a challenge on In Love With Stamping which is to use only stamps and card - no embellishments are allowed.

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Thursday 26 June 2008

Thank You Flowers

The background on this card was stamped using the Seeing Spots set from Stampin' Up. Stamped with Not Quite Navy ink onto the same colour of cardstock. I used a blender pen and ink from the pad to draw a dashed line around the edge and then lightly distressed with my scissor blade. The same treatment for the edges of the white backing behind the flowers. I stamped the flower head three times onto plain white card, and then cut out. Stuck onto stems made from narrow strips of the Not Quite Navy card. The leaves were cut freehand from scraps of white card, and then pressed onto the surface of the ink pad to colour.
1/4" Whisper White grossgrain ribbon around the bottom, finished with circles from the set stamped onto white card, and then punched out and stuck on top. Depending on the resolution of your monitor, you may need to click to enlarge in order to see the thank yous in the background!

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Wednesday 25 June 2008

Three more Butterflies

This is my second butterfly swap card. Used the same Penny Black Polka Wing stamp as yesterday.
The Lilac Bazzill Basics background is stamped randomly with the butterfly using Versamark, and embossed with clear powder. Slightly distressed the edges of this, and the apricot coloured Bazzill Bling. The dry embossing on the apricot is a Cuttlebug folder called Just My Type. The background is matted onto black Bazzill.
I stamped the three butterflies for the main images onto plain white card using Versafine Onyx Black, and coloured them with Whispers watercolour markers. The outside edges of the wings have a little Diamond Stickles on. Cut around the butterflies with scissors to make skewed squares, and matted onto the apricot Bazzill. Raised up with sticky foam pads.

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Tuesday 24 June 2008

Butterfly Trio

This is a card I made for a butterfly themed swap. I used a stamp by Penny Black called Polka Wings. Stamped onto plain white card with Versafine, and coloured in with Whispers watercolour markers. Then cut out the butterflies and pressed the wings onto a Versamark pad, and embossed with clear powder. Initially I left the wings attatched to the body and rough cut around to give me something to hold onto with the tweezers whilst embossing. Once that was done I cut out the wings only.
I used a square of lilac coloured Bazzill Basics, and coloured it with shimmery chalks using a sponge to streak on three different colours. Then stamped the flowers with Versamark using a Hero Arts stamp called Two Flourish Flowers, and embossed with white powder. Finally used tape to mask off the butterfly wings to ink up only the body with Color Box black pigment ink to stamp three bodies directly onto the card, then embossed with clear powder. Fixed the wings on with silicone to raise them up off the page.
Matted onto black Bazzill, and then Emerald Bazzill Bling. The card base is white card measuring 13.5cm square. (Approx. 5.25".)

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Sunday 22 June 2008

Changuito Birthday

Revisiting the Changuitos for another male birthday. I stamped the image with my new Versafine Onyx Black pad, and used watercolour pencils and an aquabrush to colour them. Chalked a little green around the edge, and hand doodled over the top of that. Slightly distressed the edges with my scissor blade. Mounted on a strip of brown Bazzill card, also lightly distressed. Background is Pebbles Inc. Zoo Fun Animal/Wave.
The leaves are a 1" Woodware punch - Monstera - which I chalked with green at the edges, and scored a crease down the middle. Couple of brads to finish and echo the orange in the image.

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Saturday 21 June 2008

Art Impressions Scene

This is my first attempt at a view/scenery picture from Art Impressions stamps. I got the idea for it from an example card displayed at my local craft shop.
Using watercolour paper, first I washed on the background hills and sky, then added a little church surrounded by trees, and the birds. To do this I scribbled colour from watercolour markers onto a plate, and used small paintbrushes and water. The plants in the foreground, and the overhanging tree are made up of various Art Impressions stamps, all inked with watercolour markers, and stamped on once the background was dry.
The matting is all done onto Bazzill Basics. Some of the layers have had the edges slightly distressed. I used my 1/2" punch to do the corners of the darker brown layer, and painted brads with a dark brown permanent marker to match. The twill tape is threaded through slits I cut by punching out 1/16" holes and then joining them with my craft knife. I anchored it at the back with a piece of tape to stop it slipping out. The greeting is from my Woodware Francoise Read Tiny Phrases set. The card base is hammered textured cream card, and the card measures 15 x 10.5cm (approx 4 x 6").
Click for a closer look.

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Tuesday 17 June 2008

Little Polka Dot Trio

Stuck on these little flowers still! Here's a cheerful little trio in pink polka dotted paper from Doodlebug called Cupcake Swiss Dot. They were made in just the same way as the flowers on yesterday's card. The flower centres, leaves and stems, and the mat are Bazzill Bling - Emerald. The sentiment is a Do Crafts Whispers Word Stamp. Hand doodling around the edge of the white backing with a fine pink marker, and finished with a narrow pink satin ribbon bow on the tag. The card is 12.5cm (5") square.

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Monday 16 June 2008

Be Inspired #17 Card

This is my card for Beate's BIC17.
I used Beetle Black Crushed Velvet cardstock by Doodlebug for the background, and the flower centres. The flowers are punched with an X-Cut punch called Flower Head from Chenille Flocked cardstock - Lily White, also by Doodlebug, and shaped with a ball tool as per yesterday's tutorial. Gives a really intense black and white contrast - difficult to pick up the velvety-ness though! If you enlarge the close-up shot you can see the pile a little bit on the flowers. I used a linen textured card for the stems and leaves, for the matting around the top black layer, and for the card base. To make the leaves, I punched out a five pointy petaled flower shape, and then cut off each petal like pie wedges. I shaped them with my character tool on the moulding mat before gluing next to the stems. The stems are just thin slivers of card cut with the paper trimmer, which twist by themselves if cut thin enough.

I used my 1/2" circle punch to shape the corners of the top layer, and painted white flat back pearls with a black permanent marker to match. Finished with a sheer white ribbon . The card is 10.5 x 21 cm (approx. 4 x 8 inches) .

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Sunday 15 June 2008

Little Plaid Flower Tutorial

Just a quick little tutorial to make the simple plaid flowers from my Nellie 5th Birthday Card.

Here is the list of items needed to make this little flower:
  • Scraps of two different patterned/coloured paper
  • Moulding mat
  • Flower punch
  • 1/4" circle punch
  • Pva
  • Embossing ball tool
  • Tweezers make handling the small pieces easier, but not essential

Punch out one flower shape and one circle.

Place the flower upside down on the moulding mat. Emboss around the edges of each petal as shown by the curved arrow.

Turn the flower over, and emboss in a circle around the base of the petals.

The petals will pop up like this.

Emboss around the edge of the little circle, working your way into the centre in a spiral motion. Go back around the outside edge to smooth out the wrinkles.

It should look like this - a bit like a contact lens.

Place a tiny spot of pva in the centre of the flower, and use the tweezers to stick the circle on top.
Finished flower.

You can use other flower shapes as shown. Those with petals that are cut close in to the centre work the best - as with the 8 and 6 petaled flowers here. The five petaled flowers have larger centre areas in relation to their size, and the petals don't pop up quite as well.

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Saturday 14 June 2008

Father's Day Card

The image on this card is created using Art Impressions stamps. I stamped the watering can first, inking the stamp with a black watercolour marker and stamping onto water colour paper. Then I used an aqua brush to draw some of the colour off the stamped image to colour it in. Not sure if this is a bona fide technique, but it seems to work! I stamped another watering can image onto a post-it note, and cut it out to use as a mask whilst I stamped some of the foliage and flowers, and the stone path that the can is sitting on. Then I removed the mask and stamped the remaining parts. All the inking of the stamps was done with watercolour markers. I washed around the stones and grass with my aqua brush to colour in the spaces between the stamped images. All together there are ten different stamps used to make the picture. The edges have been shaded with green chalk.
I cut out the image with a square Nestability die. Mounted it on light green Bazzill card - the corners were punched with a 1/2" circle punch. Matted onto a reddish brown Bazzill card, with blue brads to finish. The words are from the Woodware (Francoise Read) Tiny Phrases set. I left off the 'it's' which is in front of the 'father's day' and used 'happy' from the 'happy birthday'. I used a marker to ink these stamps as well.

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Wednesday 11 June 2008

Nellie 5th Birthday Card

Another 5th birthday card - this time for my in-laws to give to my daughter.
The image is Sitting Nellie, Stamped in Whisper Black ink, and coloured with watercolour pencils and an aqua brush. Cut out and mounted onto thin foam pads so that she sits just slightly higher than the 5.
I made the numeral using Ariel Rounded font. Used the computer to enlarge, mirror it, and print out. Rough cut around, then temporarily fixed it to the back of Bazzill Bling - may be 24 Karat, but am not sure. Cut out the 5, removed the template, and then ran it through my Cuttlebug in the Floral Fantasy folder.
The pink flowery backing paper is Pebbles Inc. - Party Time Girl Stripe/Flower, and the checked one is Doodlebug - Baby Girl Plaid.

I doodled a decorative border around the edge of the pink paper with an orange Soufflé pen. The flowers are made using an X-Cut punch - Flower Head with the checked paper, and a 1/4" hole punch with the pink paper for the centres. I shaped them with my embossing tool before assembling and sticking onto the card. This card is just a little bigger than A6 (approx 4x6").

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Monday 9 June 2008

5th Birthday Card

When I made this card for my brother-in-law last month, my daughter really liked the frogs, and asked if she could have them on her card. So, for her birthday this week, I have combined them with an alphabet stamp to make her name - conveniently three letters long!
The stamp is by Penny Black -Toadily Yours. I masked off the flowers they should be holding with sellotape whilst inking the stamp, then removed it to stamp the image. The letters and the butterfly are also by Penny Black, from the Zoophabet set. I stamped the letters in postion, then drew in the two strings with the fine nib of my black marker. I used Colour Box black pigment ink and then embossed with clear powder. Painted with water colour markers by transferring colour onto a plate, and then using a very fine brush. Hand doodling with a pink marker around the edge. Matted onto pink Bazzill and then on to Imaginesce patterned paper called For Peep's Sake/Pretty New Dress.
The wording is a Pebbles Inc white rub-on onto blue Bazzill. I used Ariel Rounded font to create the 5. Sized it and mirror imaged it in my drawing program, and then printed out onto white paper. I rough cut around the 5 and temporarily stuck it to the back of a small square of Bazzill, then cut around the outline and removed the paper template. The left half of the five is stuck flat on the image edge, and the right half has thin foam pads to raise it up enough to account for the thickness of the image layer plus the mat. The card measures approx. 6" (15.5cm) square.

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Saturday 7 June 2008

Ninja Monkeys

As you can see, this is for a 21st birthday. The birthday boy is a big ninja fan -so I played dressing up with two of my Changuitos.
I used Beate's Weekend Sketch Challenge #51 for the layout, but instead of doing it in layers of paper and card, I took the sketch into Photoshop and replaced each greyscale area on the sketch with a colour. I also stretched the length of the card to accommodate the monkeys. Then added the wording, the shurikens in the corner and the 21, before printing out on to white hammered finish card stock.
I made the 21 in Photoshop using three different weapon images, copied and arranged to form the numerals. The font for the wording is Last Ninja by Freaky Fonts, which is a free download.
The monkey with the sword is Changuito Solo, and the other is Changuito Swing - by Stampendous. On the stamp, Swing Changuito is hanging from a branch. I masked off the leaves, leaving him holding a stick to use as the handle for me to draw in the blades at each end. For the other monkey, I just drew a sword in his hand. They are stamped directly on to the background, but as I wanted white around the eyes, I stamped again on white card, to paper piece the heads and bodies after colouring in with a black marker. The marker colour that I used for the weapon blades combined quite well with the blue of the printer ink to make a good colour for them - more grey than they look in the picture. The blade that overlaps the 21 box is also paper pieced.
As the card is largely computer generated, I have also added it to the Splitcoaststampers WT156 Computer Challenge gallery.

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Wednesday 4 June 2008

No Tools Flower Petal and Leaf Templates

Here are the templates I promised yesterday. I have included all the petal shapes that I have used so far on the No Tools Flowers that I have posted on my blog. (Click on the No Tools Flower label in the list of labels in the right hand column to find them all easily.) I have tested the sheet, and they should print out at the same size as I used for my flowers. To preserve the size you need to click on the picture to enlarge it, and then right click on the enlarged image and save. Obviously you can resize if you want smaller or larger petals.

There are two ways to use them. First print out the sheet onto some white card and cut out your chosen petal shape. If you want to use the template to cut against the crease as in the No Tools Flower tutorial, then carefully cut exactly down the middle lengthwise to give a half shape. Now use it as per the tutorial.

If you want to cut them out more quickly, and without a crease down the centre, then use this method:

Take a strip of paper, a little wider than the length of the petal and draw round the whole petal shape at one end of the paper.
Fold the paper, concertina style, until you have four layers including the one with the petal drawn on it.
Hold all the layers together firmly, whilst you cut around the lines of the drawn shape. Cut just a fraction inside the line, so that there will not be a mark around the edge of the top petal.
Using this method, you will only have to draw and cut three times to get twelve petals. Fairly quick, and quicker than the crease method.

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Tuesday 3 June 2008

No Tools Lily Tutorial

Here is how I made the lily on this card.

You may like to refer to these entries if you haven't seen them before -
No Tools Flower and Tool Substitutes

It is important to let all colouring and gluing dry thoroughly before attempting any shaping. Wet paper will not take shaping well, and will not hold the shaping afterwards.

As usual - click on any picture for a larger view.

Here's the list of items needed to make the lily:
  • Piece of white printer paper
  • Moulding mat
  • White pva glue
  • Tweezers - not essential, but useful
  • DEET tool
  • Embossing ball tool
  • Character shaper
  • Scissors
  • Coloured brush tip markers - or whatever colouring medium you prefer - paints or watercolour pencils & brush etc
  • Flocking - see tutorial for substitutes
  • Small six petaled flower punch, or snowflake - needs six points.
  • Petal and leaf templates - see below

Cut two strips from the length of the piece of printer paper - about 3cm or just over an inch or so is fine. Fold them in half down the length, and use the templates to cut out six petals and three leaves. You can either design your own templates or use the ones I will be posting shortly. The leaves are about 5cm x 2cm at the widest point (2" x 7/8"), and the petals are about 4.75cm x 1.75cm (scant 1 3/4" x 3/4").

Please refer to the No Tools Flower instructions for exactly how to cut the petals and leaves.

Three leaves at the top, and six petals at the bottom - notice that the petals are more rounded at one end - this will be the outer tip of the petal.

Making sure that you colour at the inner, pointed end of the petal, use a light, bright green to create a triangular shape as shown. I started with the top, middle of the triangle, and brushed a line downwards with the marker to the point. Then I worked outwards on each side, each time drawing a shorter line. If you enlarge the picture you can see the staggered outline this gives. The edges of the triangle need to be like this and not straight.
Then brush in lines of yellow around the edge of the green. I used the same direction and working order as with the green, so that I finished with the yellow going slightly into the green.
Next use a pale pink marker - this time brushing from the edge of the yellow up towards the outer tip of the petal. Leave some white around the outer edges. A natural, uneven finish is what you are aiming for.
Now turn the petal over, and brush on the pink the same as on the front. I prefer not to go over the base where the green and yellow is on the other side as the pink will soak through and spoil it. The white spot will not show once the lily is mounted on a card. The pale pink needs to be fairly dry before applying the darker pink otherwise the colours will bleed.
Turn the petal back to the front and, using the fine nibbed end of a dark pink marker draw in lines as shown. Draw with a quick, flicking motion from the top of the yellow to the tip of the petal. Do one long line on each side of the centre crease, and two or three shorter ones randomly placed.
Use the brush end of the dark pink to make randomly placed spots as shown.

When making the spots, hold the marker completely upright as shown, and touch the very tip with very light pressure to the paper. If you vary the pressure slightly, you will get a variety of sizes of dots. You can use the fine nibbed end depending on your marker. I find that mine gives too tiny a size dot, and I can't vary the size of them.

Use a nice leafy green brush marker to colour the leaves. Start with a line down the centre, and then draw lines fanning out as shown. Now go back and fill in between the lines as with the left half of the right hand leaf below. Just work with single strokes always going from the base of the leaf towards the tip. Make quite quick movements with light pressure. Some areas will get covered more than once, and this gives the variation in depth of colour. If you colour too much, the paper will get too wet.

Here are the finished petals and leaves. Make sure that they are completely dry before doing any shaping on them. The leaves in this picture are still wet - the lines in the colour will become less pronounced once they are dry.

Punch out two six petaled flowers, or snowflakes. If you don't have any six armed shapes, then use a small circle as per the No Tools Flower - it will need to be nice and small so that it doesn't show too much in the finished flower.
Cut off every other petal on each flower, and colour the centres in the same green as used on the petals. No need to colour the backs.

Curve the petals as per the No Tools Flower instructions.
My apologies for the lack of focus in this picture. It also looks a little weird, as I spliced two photos together to show you how to hold the petal and tool to do the next part. (Had to do the splicing as I misplaced my third hand today!)
Hold the petal by the base, with your thumb in the curve and a finger on each side underneath to hold the curve around your thumb. This will prevent the curve flattening out whilst shaping the tip. Use the 'sharp' edge of the character tool with the rounded part facing towards the base of the petal, or the edge of your scissor blade. Sandwich the petal between the edge and your thumb just as you would if you were curling ribbon. Gently work around the tip of the petal to make it curve downwards.

The finished shaping of the petal should look something like this.

Put a small spot of pva on a scrap of paper. Touch the base tip of the petal to the glue, and then stick the petal on one of the flower arms, with the point of the petal in the centre of the flower - click for a better view.
Glue on the rest of the petals as shown.

Place a pinhead size spot of glue in the middle of one of the layers, and place the other one on top. Alternate the petals, and once you are satisfied with your arrangement, press in the centre with the ball tool to adhere firmly. The pva will give you a few moments time to adjust the positioning.

Place a leaf on the moulding mat, and using the needle end of the DEET tool, make a crease down the centre by placing the needle as flat as possible on the leaf, and drawing it with slight pressure down the length of the leaf from base to tip. Now do the same in a slight curve to one side of the centre. Repeat on the other side, and one or two times more on each side. The leaf will automatically curl up as in the bottom left picture below. Then curve the tip a little, as you did with the petal so that it looks like the picture at bottom right.

Cut a rectangle of paper approx 4 x 2.5cm long (1.5 x 1"). Cut a fringe down the length of it as shown. The width of the fringed pieces needs to be only about 1.5mm (1/16th"), and you need 7 of them. Leave about a cm (1/2") uncut at the bottom.

Now cut off the portion as shown, and colour with the light green all over the solid part, and the tips and bases of the fringed parts. Do this on both sides.

Starting at the fringed end (which is the end with my watermark over it in the picture above),roll the paper up tightly around the needle end of the DEET tool, or a quilling needle if you have one. Place a spot of glue at the end of the tab before you finish rolling to secure it.

Snip off some of the rolled end so that you have about 3mm (1/8") left. (It's easier to snip off the excess now, than to work with such a small strip when rolling.) Now hold the stamens in the centre of your flower to test their length. If they seem too long to you, snip off a little from the fringed end, until you are happy with them. Mine are a little shorter than the length of the petals.

Gently spread the stamens out, and place a small bit of glue on each of the tips. Put it on both sides as shown so that it makes a little round blob at the end. Dip the glued ends into the flocking. I have used a deep pink for six of them, and green on the one that seemed to be most in the middle. If you don't have flocking, then liquid pearls or similar works well - use that instead of the glue - this is what I have used on the fuchsia I made the other day. Looks pretty good - just not fluffy. If you don't have anything, then you can just colour both sides of the tips with a marker.

Support the stamens and leave them to dry. I have put them back on the needle of the DEET, supported by my tweezers for the photo. Putting them on the end of a cocktail stick, standing in a small jar works well - but I was too lazy to go get them!

Use your embossing ball tool to draw tiny circles with gentle pressure in the centre of the lily to make the petals pop up. How much to make them pop up depends on how full blown you want your lily to be.
Put a blob of pva the same diameter as the base of your stamens in the centre of the flower. Using tweezers to grip the stamens at their base, stand them upright in the glue. Hold for a few seconds until the glue is starting to grip.
Make sure the stamens stay upright when you let go, and prop up the lily whilst they dry completely. Once they are dry, you can make adjustments to how the stamens are positioned to suit your preference. If they are too spread apart for your liking, then gently hold each one with the tweezers at the base, and run the tweezers up towards the tip to curve them in the direction you want. If you do this before the glue is set hard, you will just pull the stamen assembly out of the flower. Not that I am speaking from experience at all!

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