Sunday, October 31, 2010

45 and Fabulous

This is a birthday card for our friend Andrena who is turning 45, sweet young thing!  The sentiment says "45 and Fabulous......Has a certain ring to it, don't you think?"

I've used a Kenny K digi image "Movie Star" from their shop, and am entering their challenge for this week with the theme "2x2".  I have 2 of a lot!  2 plain papers, 2 patterned papers, 2 lots of embellishments (each of two stars of each colour) 2 corners and whatever else you can see!  The image is coloured with a combination of Copic markers and pigment inks.  The sentiment is computer generated.
The card is white with a square of textured black paper, it 's like crocodile skin!  The stripy paper is Doodlbug Designs and the purple mat the image is on is from Kaisercrafts Lilac Avenue 9" collection.  The orange is from DCWV, I think the Brights mat stack.  
It is going in to another couple of challenges too; Sketch and Stash, which is where I got the great sketch from,( it's #47), also Simon Says Stamp's challenge "Punch 'em": I used my Labels Four Nestabilities to cut the mat, and a punch I have had for ages and NEVER used for the stars, which I embossed with glitter - which of course doesn't show in the photo! 
I got the colour inspiration "Purple Orange Black"  from Flutterby Wednesday then I forgot the fundamental butterfly on it, so it won't be getting entered there after all!!  Still, great colours.  
I've given my movie star eyeshadow using the technique featured on Color Me Copic, this is a great tutorial and I'll be using it on my ladies where appropriate in future.  I used a watered down version as I was a bit timid this first time, but as long as you use a light hand - easy peasy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Santa Emma's Sitting Pretty

Today's Christmas card is in the DL format, which I haven't used before but actually found very usable.  You also know that they post at standard rate!!
I used the digital version of "Santa Emma" from CC Designs Sugarplums collection, available at All That Scraps and Tickled Pink Stamps.  I use digis A LOT - I love them - sizable, flippable and so easy to both store and clean !!  I used Copic and Bic markers to colour the image and also the "Christmas" stamp which is from Xtra stamps.  The Xpress It paper I'm now printing my images on is so superior to any other cardstock I've used, I will never use anything else (unless absolutely desperate of course!)  It just seems to take the colour better without the bleeding that I've had on other paper.  Even though it's a bit pricey it's good value really as you don't waste botched images all the time
The snowflake paper is from a pack I got from my sister when she had a clear out a few years ago.  I found it in my stash last week, about 100 sheets in total - some of which will definitely feature in my Christmas cards this year, and as I'm somewhat of a tight wad, how happy am I? Can't get any cheaper than free!
The border paper that Emma is sitting on is from My Memories, the dots and the stripes have glitter on them, as does Emma's fur trim and the edge of the oval (cut and embossed with my oval Nestabilities, then inked up with green pigment ink) with the word "Merry" on it.  All this glitter qualifies the card for entry to the Totally Gorjuss challenge for this week with the theme "sparkle".  There really is a lot of sparkle here, I only wish I could get it to show in the photos!  The spots and stripes on the card fit in with the  Allsorts Challenge this week, so hopefully I'll remember to enter it this time (I was too late for a couple of challenges last week).                       Hope you enjoyed today's offering, I had fun making it and that's two Christmas cards done, yay!  Happy crafting, Dee.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Hundred Thank You Notes

If one "thank you" note says "Thanks", what does a notepad of a hundred say?  This Post-It note and pen holder has a magnet on the back so it can sit on the refrigerator - handy for shopping lists and of course it still fits in your handbag nicely where it is handy for EVERYTHING!!

This project is going in a few challenges: All That Scraps Wednesday Challenge had "make a magnet" as the theme this week.  Hopefully this project, with its magnet on the back, qualifies.  I am also entering it in the Stamp Something challenge for this week "use a digi" I use digital stamps 99% of the time - that was EASY!!  Sweet Stampin' has an "Anything But a Card" challenge so guess where my little Post-it Note holder is going:-)
I was going to enter Flutter By Wednesdays challenge for this week, which was anything goes, and the Simon Says Stamp Challenge with the theme "thanks"- but I got distracted when I was typing up my blog and didn't get it entered in time - ME STOOPID!
The cardstock that  the Post-It note holder is made from is from the Die Cuts With a View "Mariposa" collection, I am loving it and it is so much more versatile than I thought it would be when I got it. I used the basics of a template from Dawn Griffith I saw on YouTube, but I had to metricate it as I don't even own a ruler with inches on anymore!!  It took longer to convert (even using an online converter) than to do one from scratch - so I have made a metric version.  I'll put it in my Tutorials and Templates  page when I've tidied it up a bit. The pen came from BigW in a pack of ten, they are gel pens and multicoloured - I wish I could get some black ones, but that is proving impossible here.
I used a strip of gold metallic card (some people know it as Mirri or Mirror Board, I think) punched with Fiskars Apron Lace border punch for Emma to sit on -she needed a seat or she appeared to just "float"- the red polka dot ribbon is from my stash.  
I have used the digital stamp Rose Emma from CC Designs Sugarplums "Take a Seat" collection, available at All That Scraps, coloured her with Copic and Bic markers (I have ordered some more Copics, so the colouring should get easier and my palette broader, soon!) I cut her out and pop dotted her in place.  The sentiment is made up of gold letter stickers.
I'll be making more of these - they are really easy, quick and use offcuts, YAY, I always have offcuts- don't we all!  What's more, they can be as cute or elegant or masculine as you like - very versatile.
Happy crafting, Dee

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wedding Wishes

This card is one I did for my son's friend Sue-Lyn who got married on the weekend.  It is just a simple card, but I think it has an elegance to it that is appropriate for Sue, who is that rare combination of elegance and sweetness.
It is an off white pearl card, the centre panel is embossed with the "Kimmie Luvs" embossing folder from Cuttlebug then mounted on gold metallic board.  The sentiment is computer generated printed on the pearl paper (note to self: ink takes a bit longer to dry on pearlised paper, so don't handle it until dry or you will have to reprint it - possibly twice if you are slow on the uptake ho hum) and cut out and embossed using my oval Nestabilities, mounted on gold board also cut and embossed with Nestabilities - scalloped ovals.  
The gold brads in the corners help tie it together, I did try crystal brads but they somehow looked "wrong".
So here's to the Bride and Groom, I hope they have long life and happiness together.  
Incidentally that is the one of the greatest compliments my husband ever paid to me: He is not a natural public speaker, quite shy really, and when giving a speech as Best Man at a wedding he said he wished the couple the sort of happiness he had found in his marriage to his lovely wife- me (aahhh, brought a tear to MY eye, and still does because I know how difficult it is for him to bring attention to "him and his").
Anyway, enough of the soggy stuff, got to go and do my hubbys laundry, lol

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I saved the last flower for you

Butterfly Birgitta seems to be offering her little butterfly friend the last flower of summer in this card.
I made it in response to a couple of challenges; Flutter By Wednesdays challenge # 126 had the theme "Fall" so I used my favourite autumnal colours with a mix of Copic and Bic markers.  As usual with Flutterbys challenges, there has to be a butterfly or fairy used; this card uses CC Designs Swiss Pixies "Butterfly Birgitta" (the clues in the name!) available from All That Scraps and Australian supplier Tickled Pink Stampsas well as my lovely new paper covered in glittery butterflies from the DCWV Mariposa collection .
Allsorts Challenge Blog  Challenge#74

I used the sketch from Sketch and Stash for their challenge # 46, so I'll be entering this card there too.  It was a great sketch to work with. I made the five strips of patterned paper 2cm wide each and stamped and embossed with Kaisercraft pigment ink "Antique Blue" using Fiskars Filigree Borders stamp on the card in between each strip.  The paper has a slightly distressed look, so the stamping being a bit patchy looked fine -  as if it were designed that way (well, of course it was! not)
Allsorts had a bingo challenge this week (challenge # 74) I used the "Punch Flower Pearls" line.  I used my oval Nestabilities in place of a punch, so I hope it qualifies.  The pearls have been in my stash for so long, I can't remember where I got them.  I didn't think I'd  use the blueish ones on this card, but they go with the flowers which I coloured up with the pigment ink I did the stamping with, I used orange brads in the centres to tie it together.  I couldn't get any leaves so I copic-coloured a flower I got as a freebie with an order, then cut it into petals - I think it makes much better leaves than it did a flower, so I'm rapt!  So my little offering will be going into that challenge too!  A tri challenge card, gee I'm getting good (makes up for missing the deadline with my Rainbow Emma card!)  
This close up photo shows (though not very well) the glitter I embossed on Birgitta's wings and the butterfly, it helped tie the image in with the background paper, which has quite a glittery finish.
Whew, that is one long post!  Hope you stayed awake to the end, see you soon, Dee.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Musical Unicorns

Another birthday, another ....egg!  If you look at my older posts, you'll see the carriage egg I did for my Fathers 70th birthday; this egg is the one I did for my Mother's 70th - I can't believe its ten years old!! 
This one is an Emu egg, it took quite a bit of cutting and NO, the holes are not big enough for the unicorn inside to fit through!  I cut a section off the bottom of the egg, filled the cut off section with plaster of paris then set the unicorn (duly painted and glittered) on it before gluing the egg back together - there, my secret is out!  I also drilled through the bottom of the egg so that I could put in the shaft from the musical box that it sits on, so the whole egg turns as it plays; you wind it up by turning the plaque.
I painted the whole egg with a base coat then used Duncan Liquid Pearls in jewel colours, blending them together so there is a seamless transition from one colour to the next.  
After painting (this one didn't need sealing as the pearl paints are self-sealing) I trimmed the edge of each hole (perhaps I should use the word "aperture" or something, "hole" doesn't sound very elegant, does it? lol) with gold cord.  
The last step for the egg was gluing on all those little Swarowski  crystals (these are the AB ones - AB stands for Aurora Borealis and means they "throw" multiple colour not just clear) in a surprisingly-hard-to-keep-to random pattern! I kept making rows, which is in my nature, I'm a list maker so randomness doesn't come that readily!
Finally I stained and sealed the plaque and the stand.  The stand, which holds the musical mechanism, is in fact an upside down box!  I fixed the mechanism to a sort of lid that fits inside the box, then just lowered the box over it.  I thought the chain gave the piece a carnival feel.
In real life it looks really beautiful (I know, everyone says that), especially when it  is spinning - all that glittery goodness!
Mum had a perspex cover made for it, she wasn't about to dust it all the time, and who can blame her?  I thought that's what daughters are for, to give mothers something to occupy them in their dotage!  Or perhaps it was revenge for all those noisy toys (known in our house as "Nanna toys") that were given to my sons when they were young - only joking!! 

 Hope your day is magical and full of music too, Dee

Monday, October 18, 2010

Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

This card was done for Allsorts Challenge # 73  "Song Title"; the only thing is - I missed the deadline!  Somehow it's appropriate that the song I chose was "Raindrops Keep Falling on  my Head"  -I feel like I need this card to cheer myself up :-)  
I used CC Designs "Rainy Day Emma" from the Sugarplums collection (yes, I know I use them a lot - I Love them), coloured with Copic and Bic markers.  I "fussy cut" her then popped her up on foam dots, love that 3D finish too!  The patterned paper is from Kaisrcrafts Lilac Avenue 6"x6" collection, the strip along the bottom is one of the tags from the pad.
The rainbow is from Grace Taylor's Hopscotch Scrapbook papers, the glitter was already on it.  The yellow paper has white polka dots on it, which are hard to see in the photo, I made Emma's raincoat from the same paper and paper pieced it, then added some Copic shadows, the boots were just white to start with. 
I printed the sentiment on the computer and cut it out with my oval nestie, then mounted it on a scalloped oval nestie that I had inked the edges of, the edges of the card itself are inked too.  Four little gold brads help finish this simple little card.
It doesn't matter at all that Emma and I missed the deadline for the challenge; there are always more challenges and I had fun creating this card that can now go and remind someone else that life has its' ups and downs - and that not despite but because of the rain, we get rainbows .

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Christmas with Trevor & Emma

This card is my first Christmas card for 2010, at least I've got a start!  I'm submitting this card to  Christmas Stampin' All Year Long for their challenge for this week, which is the sketch I used.  Simon Says Stamp's challenge for this week was "an easy no cook recipe of 3embellishments, 2 patterned papers and 1 image" so this card will be entered there too (the papers and the image are obvious, the three embellishments are; ribbon, brads at the top of the image and the sentiment which is a gel sticker).
The papers are from a pack I bought at a two dollar shop ages ago, the image is from of CC Designs Sugarplums collection, it actually is two of the images; Christmas Emma and Ornament Trevor.  I've coloured them with Copic and Bic markers, I sponged the edge of the image with some Ancient Page ink which adds a touch of nostalgia somehow.
I matted the image on to a piece of red card from my stash, then mounted it on foam dots.  I used another bit of the red card to stick the "Joy" gel tag on to and popped that up on foam dots too, the background of the tag matches the goldy coloured paper pretty well - but of course that doesn't show in the photo!  The "o" in joy is a Christmas ornament which ties in with the image.  The ribbon is two strips - one red one green.
Have a great day, Dee

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Don't Just Sit There..........

This card is in response to All That Scraps Weekly Wednesday Challenge for this week, "make a manly card".  I used a sketch from Tickled Pink Stamps monthly challenge.  The sentiment says "It's your birthday  Don't just sit there....Celebrate"
I used cream cardstock for the card.  The teal coloured background paper is pearl metallic and has been embossed with the Woodgrain folder by Craft Concepts, in my cuttlebug.  The black and silver paper is kind of "fluffy" - very hard to cut neatly and putting glue tape on it was tragic - it just peeled off bringing fluff with it!  
This is the sketch I used, a very simple sketch but also very adaptable.  The image is one of the Sugarplums "Take a Seat" collection, by CC Designs, available at All That Scraps  and Tickled Pink Stamps.  This is Trevor and he is sitting on the Big Chair!  I coloured him with Copics and Bic markers.  The chair is paper pieced using some of the Le Chateau 6"x6" collection by Kaisercraft, the background of the image is from that collection too,  The rug is one of the tags that came in the collection cut down.  I made the arms and seat of the chair seperate and popped them up on an extra layer of foam dots so they look more 3D, I also went around the "inside" edges of the chair with shading to give more depth, I did the same under the chair on the rug. The green decorations on the chair arms are metallic pearl brads.  
I generated the sentiment on the computer and cut it out using Labels Four Nestabilities and my lovely pink Cuttlebug. I inked the edges of the sentiment plaque with a little Kaisercraft Jade pigment ink.  I used the same ink to sponge around the inside edges of the card where I also stuck some of the background paper from behind the image (cut to the pattern you can see), to bring the theme from the front in to the card.  The brightly coloured glittery sticker is to emphasize the contrast between "Just sitting there" and "Celebrating".
This was a fun card to do, and got me thinking about the different ways of using my "Take a Seat" images.
So, have a good day and "Don't just sit there......CRAFT!"  Dee

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just Because I'm a Lady

The card for today is a "Just Because" card;  This elegant lady is being entered in the Flutterby Wednesday's challenge for this week "open theme" (though there still have to be butterflies, angels or fairies involved), this card has butterflies aplenty! 

The card itself is made from one of the Die Cuts With a View Mariposa mat stack, the orange was just the right shade for the butterfly on the image. The background paper is also from the Mariposa stack, it's hard to see, but the bodies of the butterflies are glittery, the close up photo shows it a bit better though really doesn't do it justice.  The image is a downloadable decoupage piece from toptoppershop I printed it on photo paper and then decoupaged (paper pieced?) it using foam dots (and on the really fine parts, bits of foam dots - fiddly but fun!) The brown paper the image is mounted on is from Basic Grey's Indian Summer 6"x6" collection.  I can't remember the origin of the sentiment stamp.
I used some pigment ink on the edges of all the bits of paper to bring the colours together (it began as a way of toning the orange of the card down a bit, and just went from there.  I used the same blended colours around the inside of the card, which I do a lot as I think it softens the whole effect.
The envelope is pearlised brown, I love these envelopes (use them all the time) but it is very hard to write on them and have it show up, so an address label is a good idea.  This one has a label made up of the butterfly paper (inked around the edge, of course!) cut and embossed with my scalloped oval Nestabilities, and a plain cream one (you guessed it, also inked around the edge) cut and embossed with my plain oval Nestie.  I even brushed a little ink on to the edges of the ladies dress,  and on the inside of the oval frame, I know it probably seems like overkill but I do find these little touches take hardly any time and can help give the card a "finished" look.  What's more, in this case, I think the Elegant Lady in Cream and Brown would have been most peeved had I not been attentive to her presentation!  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Wizard's in his castle and the Witch is in..... - or is she out?

The title of this post may be a bit confusing - unless you "look at the pictures".  Both these painting projects were done as gifts for my sister Fiona, who loves all things mystical and has a particular affinity with witches (so you see I'm not being rude implying she is a witch, I'm just appealing to her sense of fun), the fact that she loves cats and that there is a cat on the piece adds to its' appeal.  My sister also has been known to have hair of this hue, and some of Witchy's legwear looks familiar too, gotta love Fi!

"The Witch is In" project is a wooden piece she keeps by her door,  the plaque can be turned over to read "The Witch is Out", but I'm not sure she ever turns it over.  I used a pattern by DeLane Lange in her book "DeLane Paints Your Special Day" and Jo Sonja Acrylic paints. 
I cut the piece out myself, using the trusty scroll saw my husband bought me for Christmas last year, I have over the years received a few non-traditional Christmas gifts all of which have been entirely appropriate for me and invariably associated with craft: This year for my birthday, my eldest son bought me a heat gun -  as he doesn't know craft but does know tools it is a chunky industrial model that will outlast me, and as it was given and opened in a busy restaurant at my birthday dinner, to much excitement by ME, we got some very interesting looks "why is that woman so excited to get a drill" (that's what it looks like) and so on.  I don't know, there was the same fuss when I got my Dremel (specialist cutting tool), my framing tools, my bench grinder.......anyway, I digress.
 The second project is "Red Castle Wizard".  This plaque I also made and it was, as I recall, the first one I did using my router.  When I say "first" I should say this completed project is the end result of about fifty efforts with the router, the first 49 "ending in tears"  mine.  M-an, routers are hard to use!  It is from a pattern by Joy Vagg, which appeared in "Australian Folk Art & Decorative Painting, Vol 12 #10.  The technique used is known as pen and wash, whereby you start with a very light background (these become your highlights), draw in all the lines with a fine permanent marker, then wash the base coats of colour in.  The last step is to apply the shading, primarily with stronger applications of the base colours, strengthening them with darker shades.  Some pen and wash projects have the shading drawn in with the pen, this one didn't.  It is very much the idea behind colouring stamped images, particularly if you use copics or similar.
 Anyway, that's it for today. I hope that this isn't the only post I make with a Halloween theme before the end of the month, but if it is, at least I got these characters out there.  Hope you enjoyed, and don't forget I'll be "witching" you and have a "wizard" time crafting.......again, I hear you all groan, but I KNOW you love the corn really, Dee.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Clearly Hard to Photograph!

Today's offering is a clear card made in response to this week's All That Scraps Wednesdays Challenge which was to make, well, a clear card!  The real challenge, however, was PHOTOGRAPHING it!
First I made a 15cm square card from acetate, I was going to have it see through front and back, but decided to cover the inside of the back with orange cardstock from DCWV so that the embossing I did on the front panel showed up better - which it did.  I used the "Cupcakes" embossing folder from Craft Concepts, this is the first of this brand I have used and found it excellent, with really crisp deep grooves; and they're a cheaper alternative too, so I can get more of them!!
I took the photo on the left from the inside of the card to get a better idea of the embossing, I don't know if it gives a better idea or not!  

The photo to the right is just a close up in different light to try - again - to show the embossing up.  It was really effective in real life - TRULY. 
I used Inque Boutique paper "Cabana" on the strips.  I initially was going to stick the image, "Balloon Trevor" one of the Sugarplums from All That Scraps, straight on the acetate, but it looked pretty ordinary from the inside of the card, so I stuck the strip of paper down the edge (which I hadn't embossed so I had a flat area for the image) and pop-dotted Trevor to it.  It still looked a bit ordinary from the inside, so I stuck another strip on the inside backing on to it.  The strip with the sentiment on is the same size as the one on the front, the letter stickers are from a huge packet from BigW, El Cheapo strikes again!  I put a narrow strip down the left of the orange to bring some colour onto that side of the card .  
Trevor is coloured with a combination of Copic markers, Bic markers and pigment inks, I washed the area around him with grey to exaggerate the shadows created by having him sit up on pop dots.  I also gave his balloon a coat of clear gloss but it's a bit old and no longer that glossy - time for a replacement methinks! 
Now I had the issue of where to actually sign the card, so what  I did was emboss a strip down the side of  a piece of white card with the cupcakes, and stick that to the back of the card.  I then made an envelope large enough to hold a banknote from the patterned paper and stuck it to the back of the card.  As this card was for a friends' nine year old I simply stuck a number 9 on the flap of the envelope, there was still plenty of room underneath to write (though I'm sure the banknote held far more appeal than the sentiment anyway!)  
I know there's lots of photos of this really very simple card, but you know how it is trying to capture something on "film".  All I can say is thank goodness for digital photography or this would have been a very expensive card!  Thanks for looking, and I'll "see" you soon - quite possibly through an acetate card :-)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

It's Practically Magic

Just thought I'd post the fact that I WON the "Practical Magic" blog hop over at Crafty Chaos Designs  Thanks to Susan for holding the hop and for the lovely prize : my choice of not one, not two but THREE items from the shop - choosing only three was the hard part!  Now I'll have to get busy printing and using the lovely digital papers I chose, I'll post the end result when I am done, Dee