Saturday, 28 April 2012

Eighteenth Birthday Card

I finally got around to trying my hand at the heavily embellished style of card. I also got a chance to use some of the pearls that I made using the method I blogged about on Tuesday. I designed a dress form cutfile from an image I found at a wonderful site called Free Vintage Digital Stamps. I thought the elegance of the dress form would suit a card for a young lady who is just turning 18 and the pearls just added the finishing touch to a card that has paper lace, flowers, glitter and ribbon on it. If you have a digital cutter that can take svg files or a silhouette cutter then come back later this week for the free cut file of the dress form.
I cut the number 18 from the Cricut Alphabet Cartridge that comes preloaded on the Expression 2. I cut each number three times out of thick white card and once out of an old gold pearlescent paper. When I stacked the layers it made the numerals look like thick chipboard. A computer printed sentiment and glittered die cut leaves completed the look.
The background paper is from a digikit at Scrap Girls called French Market. Take care and have fun!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

DIY flat backed glass beads and pearls.

I really love the very pretty heavily embellished cards that are the trend of late. It isn't something I find easy to do; I don't have too much luck with collages either although I love the look. I am going to try and work on making some though and I figure practice will make perfect (or near enough perfect). One thing is for sure though I am going to need a good supply of gems or pearls. There aren't any craft supply shops anywhere near where I live so I usually buy stuff online; but then you have to wait for delivery and I am nothing if not impatient. So the perfect solution is to be able to make my own. I know you can buy liquid pearls (from Ranger I think), but I didn't have any so I played around a bit with what I did have: Clear embossing powder; coloured embossing powder and mica powders. I gathered the supplies and a non stick silicon sheet (and old toaster bag that I cut up) and played about. First I added some clear and red embossing powder to a little foil pie tin; then I placed the tin on a encaustic art iron that I have, to melt the powders. You could use an embossing heat gun and heat the dish from underneath or you can place the dish in a skillet that is heating on your stove or there are melting pots you can buy for this purpose.
Once the powders were melted I used a pair of tweezers to pick up the foil dish, which is very hot, and poured small drops onto the silicon sheets. The liquid in the dish cools quickly so I had to keep re-melting the glaze, but any beads that misformed I was able to return to the dish and melt again.
The beads cool and solidify really quickly (in under a minute) and are easily picked off the mat. I was able to make a good supply of different sized beads that I can glue onto my cards of in the centre of flowers. I didn't take any pictures of the second batch I made, but by using clear powder and a pearl mica powder I was able to make some flat backed pearls as well. Here are the red glass ones I made. The red embossing powder had some gold mica in it so the gems have a gold sheen to them.
Any glaze that is left in the dishes can be left to cool and you reuse the dish another time, just add more powder and melt again. I would like to try adding some glitter too to get a different effect. I had a blast concocting the different mixes and felt a little like a scientist. I was so pleased with my haul too and can't wait to use them on a project. Have a look in your stash and see if you can make your own gems and beads. Have fun!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Plaster Casts

Whilst I was enjoying my Easter break poor Sam was spending a night in hospital after breaking his arm whilst skateboarding. He has a cast from from wrist to armpit and the novelty is soon wearing thin. There are so many things he can't do at the moment and boredom is setting in.

I don't really need any excuse to make a card and they are usually well received. I hope that in most cases they cheer up the recipient.

For Sam I made a really big Tumble Ted character card complete with plaster cast. I took a digi stamp of Tumble Ted into a graphics program and digitally coloured it and some clothes to dress him up. Mirroring the image and removing the face creates a card back and sticking the head together creates a tent card. Each image was printed out an A4 sheet creating a card just about 12 inches tall.


The clothes were stuck on after I had lined up the card so that I could make sure that they aligned front and back.



I used some Snow Writer by Decoarts to create a plaster cast on the bears arm.



Despite being almost 10 he still loved his Teddy pal and I think Ted will get his cast signed just like Sam's.

Take care and have a great day X

Egg Deliveries a little late

Taking some time off at Easter meant that I was a little late in delivering the eggs that I had bought for the boys. They usually get lots of eggs and sweets and so I only usually get them some mini eggs and put them in a decorated box. Today I gave them their truck boxes. The template is one I found on my hard drive I think from the Toymaker Website. I tweaked it a bit to personalise each truck and then I filled them with mini eggs. Too cute!



It turned a cheap gift into something a little bit more special. Sometimes it's a all about the packaging.

Take care and have a great day X

Sunday, 15 April 2012

More crafting and cards to share.

Okay I am resigned to the fact that I am a useless blogger. Okay maybe not useless, but inconsistent. I guess I have to admit that I am only gonna be posting on the very rare occasion when I 1) actually complete a project; 2) get my act together to photograph it; 3) take the time to upload the photos and 4) login to blogger and create a post.
Well woohoo! The stars have aligned and just such a series of events has occured, hence I am writing this.

I took a little time off work at Easter to go away...nice and relaxing. It also gave me some time to create some cards.
Jack the elder of the two boys I nanny for is turning 12 today (good grief time flies). He is a very mature young man now and I wanted to reflect that in my choice of card for him. So no teddies, no cartoon characters (not that he doesn't still like the odd cartoon) and no sports related themes for him (and old favourite to fall back on).
I went with a completely different theme for me. Steampunk!

I got a really cool piece of software (Craft Artist) from a brilliant British company called Serif. It's a digital design suite that lets you create scrapbook pages, photobooks, cards, gift boxes and so much more. I cannot praise this software enough; it's so easy to use yet so powerful that you have to try to fully appreciate how good it is. It is also extremely affordable. There is also a lite version that you can try for free. It is Windows based not Mac but I urge you to try it as it is awesome.

The software powers digikits that are the images you use to make your creations. The kit I used is called Steampunk Adventures and it makes the perfect teenage boy cards..



I printed off the background paper and made a decoupage sheet of the aviator to create a hybrid card that uses both digital and traditional techniques to create a card. Some glaze applied to the 12 on the balloon highlights the numbers and I was able to place Jack's name on the banner near the bottom of the card. Kids love it when you personalise things for them.

I think that these images would made a great T-shirt too..something for me to work on when I get some more transfer paper.

Hope you all have good day and create something wonderful!