Sunday, 25 July 2010

Imagine and dream

My new set of 'Art Nouveau ladies' and 'Beautiful ladies' stamps from Creative Expressions arrived Thursday and couldn't wait to get started with them.  I knew I had a small list of things to create by this Friday so my two days off work were ideal to get started with them.
First project was a 40th birthday card for my friend Pip. I decided to use one of the 'Beautiful ladies' stamps, which I heat embossed using a pearlised powder in an Amethyst colour, I then used a combination of my Big and Juicy ink pad in 'Hydrangea' and Distress inks in 'Antique Linen' and 'Brushed corduroy' to colour in the image, highlighting the flowers with some perfect pearls. This was then layered up with a K&Co paper from the 'Mira' range onto a card base from Inspire me papers. The brad in the centre of the fabric flowers was made using the Papermania brad making kit which I picked up in the sale a Hobby Craft a few weeks back.
I took the angled close up to try to show the Amethyst embossing powder and the perfect pearls :-)

My next card was for an ex-colleague of mine who is retiring this month. We stayed in touch over the 4 years since I left were we worked at together and I know she appreciated the more arty farty style of card ;-)
This image was from the 'Art Nouveau ladies' set and I created it in the same way as the previous one, only this time after it was done I masked it off and made a background using the Big and Juicy ink pad and some glimmer mist in 'Raisin' on top. I layered it with some pretty star paper I brought a good few years ago (and can no longer remember where it was from) on a purple A5 size card. I made sure there was a nice retirement themed verse inside, to mark the occasion. I really enjoyed using these stamps, they seemed perfectly designed for embossing and colouring. I shall enjoy making many more things with these.

I have been a regular participator in the monthly ATC swap at 'Addicted to ATCs' and this months swap was 'Things with wings'. I have some very nice butterfly stamps and a couple of pretty dragonfly stamps too but I decided to got with some of the Bird stamps from Elusive Images that I have had for a while now and really do love. My set of three were made using the 'Hydrangea' Big and Juicy ink pad, with masking and brayering techniques.

I think I might have an afternoon of sewing for a change today, as cross stitch is also another hobby of mine. I have been sewing a pretty Geisha girl for a few weeks now and it's coming along nicely. I'll be back to the cards in the week as there are more birthdays on the horizon!
Sarah x

Saturday, 17 July 2010

First try with alcohol inks

I hope you are having a pleasant weekend so far? I've spent a couple of hours this afternoon playing, for the first time, with some alcohol inks. They've appealed to me for ages now but I was holding off investing in some as I have loads of craft stash and didn't want to get into something else new for a while. However my local craft shop was having a sale and I fell into temptation :-) I already had an ink blending tool, so I only needed some felt pads and inks to start me off (although I do wish I'd brought blending solution too). It's my Father-In-Law's birthday next week and I decided that his card would play guinea pig to my first attempt!
I have to admit I'm never the most inspired when it comes to making cards for men and I often rely on my trusty ship stamp with some water colour pencils to save the day...and here it is again! The alcohol inks I brought were Adirondack in 'Eggplant', 'Currant' and 'Caramel'. I made the background paper using glossy card by putting a few drops of each colour onto a felt pad and stamped repeatedly using the blending tool. I also tried it out in a plastic tag that I had, alcohol ink on one side and a sentiment stamped on the other with Stazon ink in 'Timber brown'. All of these where then layered up onto a pearlised brown A6 card.
I've got quite a little crafting list building up for next week so I really do need to get my finger out, hopefully there will be more to come tomorrow.
Sarah x

Monday, 12 July 2010

Stamping and stitching

Hello again, I'm back already! I can't promise to keep this up though, as I have a really busy week or two coming up and it will leave me little time to craft unfortunately. I'm bound to be a bear with a sore head if I can't keep my hands busy, oh well!
It's my sisters birthday this week and I decided I wanted to make her a card using some blanks I brought a while ago from Stamps Away:
As you can see they have a sweet little dimensional window box on them, which just cries out to be decorated. I decided to give the house exterior a crackled effect, first by blending some 'Antique Linen' Distress ink over the entire front of the card and then stamping a crackle effect using the same ink over the top, to give an effect of cracked rendering (hopefully!). I'd recently brought a paper stitching template which I purchased with these cards in mind, as they have a garden border of grass and flowers and a cute butterfly too. 

I actually find paper piercing quite therapeutic, I don't know what that says about me :-) The stitching is, admittedly, quite fiddly to do because card isn't as easy to work with as fabric when it comes to sewing. It took me a couple of hours over all to stitch all the grass, flowers and two butterflies.
The window frame and window box part are separately constructed from the card and I decided to use some acrylic paints to create a wooden shutter and metal/verdigris window box effect. I folded some K&Co 'Mira' paper to create a Roman blind behind the window which also helped to hide the verse inside the card ;-) I finished the card off with a 'Happy Birthday' stamp and a couple of jewels. After all the time I've put in with this I hope my sister likes it! 
Sarah x

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Recycled cotton paper card

Hello! Sorry it has been a while since my first post. Isn't it always the way that when you start off with the best intentions that 'life' comes along and changes your plans for you? Oh well, I'm here now :-)

I spent yesterday afternoon making the above birthday card for my cousin and decided to incorporate some new paper I brought a couple of weeks ago in Paperchase.
The paper interested me mostly because it is made in India from recycled cotton rags. It has a nice lightly textured surface, similar to artists watercolour paper and I knew because it was made from cotton that it would be really absorbent, making me think of background paper spritzing effects. With this in mind I got out a couple of Glimmer Mists: 'Honey Dew' and 'Denim' and keeping it light I spritzed some colour on the paper. It did bend up quite badly but when I dried it with my heat gun all was well and everything came back into shape.
Using Distress ink in 'Broken China' I stamped the paper with 'Star Goddess' from Hampton Arts Stamps, picking up her eyes with a little 'Peeled paint' and her lips with some 'Dusty Concord'. I layered the image with some paper from the 'Mira' range by K&Co and some gold pearlescent paper I had knocking around. I finished the card off with ribbon and a Papermania brad from their brad making kit. 
A close up of the stamped image

It's a shame that the photos don't show the twinkly Glimmer Mists very well as it was a lovely effect with the stars in the stamped image. 

I am currently half way through making something a bit more intricate for my sisters birthday next week, hopefully I'll get that posted here by Monday at the latest ;-) 

Have a wonderfully crafty weekend!
Sarah xx