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Sunday, 8 April 2018

Manly Man Birthday

I always have a problem with creating cards for men. And when it came to making a birthday card for my father in law I had to think long and hard. In the end I took his profession as inspiration - he is a carpenter.
I opted for texture and dimension to add interest to the card - no fancy embellishments here!



I used two embossing folders - brick and wood. I added dome ink to both (Hero Arts Bold Ink in Carmel) to emphasise the texture with colour. For the brick background I just cut the paper to size, but for the wood I cut three 2cm strips and ran them through BigShot next to each other. I then ensured there were in correct order when mounting them on a card.
I cut out the sentiment and used 3 layers of copper embossing powder - this makes it look like it's actually made of metal.
I mounted everything on a craft foam to give it dimension and glued the sentiment across the three "boards".
I also added a little fun detail - fake screws on either side of the wooden strips. I used dimensional fabric paint in pure gold metallic (works great on paper as well!). And since it has some elasticity to it when dry I was able to use my craft knife to make dents in it so the little drops resemble screws.



And here it is - a Birthday card for a hard working man. 



And incidentally Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge is all about Birthdays! have a look at the lovely creations and entries here

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

My Monthly Hero

So finally after months of looking at all those awesome card kits I've decided to order one. My Montly Hero for March really caught my eye - it's perfect for s starter or just to restock those basics. Because craft stash is a bit like wardrobe - you need basics you can build on. I had to wait a bit longer to receive mine - it had to cross the Atlantic Ocean to get here. And when I finally got it I could not wait to use all the supplies. Ok, I did wait. but only because it was so nicely packaged, all wrapped in tissue and tied with a pretty ribbon (both of which can be used for crafting - bonus!).

So once I've had enough looking at it I finally went ahead and used it. Since the kit is full of basics the card is pretty basic too. I used craft cardstock as a base and only added white. The only exception are the leaves and the middle of the daisy.



I've cut the hello twice and doubled it for dimension.I used Stitched Daisies to create a flower - I cut out all 3 sizes and glued them on top of each other and slightly offset. I curled the petals a little (by carefully running scissors at the back of each one) for added dimension and more realistic look. I also added Wink of Stella to the petals.
At the bottom I used White Unicorn ink from the card kit and a stencil to create a pattern and add interest to the card.



And since the cards features flowers (ok, one flower, but why should that not be enough?) I've decided to submit it to Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge. Have a look at all the wonderful entries - it's a great inspiration.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Layered Stamping with Few Ink Colours

I am a big fan of layered stamping. I even have a few stamp sets - somewhere at the bottom of my craft stash. Why bottom? Because I never use them! And why would I love them but not use them? Because I don't have a rainbow of inks to create those pretty images I see in blogs and videos.
But crafting is all about being creative (and resourceful) so I picked up the only set of 4 ink cubes I have (Desert Sun from Hero Arts) and started experimenting. I used layered rose clear stamp. I already knew a couple of ways to use layered stamps and I hoped I'd come up with a few more.
I'll start with two methods I've learned from Jennifer McGuire. The other 3 methods are results of my experiments.
  • Adding white ink 
This is a great way as you only need one colour of ink (well, two if you count the white). I happened to have Hero Arts Unicorn White ink, which I recently got in My Monthly Hero card kit.  The great thing about this method is that it really stretches your supplies - you can invest in different colours of inks rather than different hues of the same or similar colour.
How:
After stamping each layer of coloured ink stamp the full image (the first one) on top of it with white ink each time in between the layers. This softens the ink already applied without covering it making it appear as different hues of the same colour.
You can watch the video here.
  • Stamping on vellum
Again - only one colour of ink needed. I found it works better with vivid colours.
How:
Stamp each layer on vellum separately. Once dry, line up the layers and adhere them on top of each other. Now all you need to do is cut it out and voila!
Video here.

Sorry I didn't have my own examples of the techniques this time. I'm sure Jennifer explains it much better than I could anyway!
  • Stamping on coloured paper

Ok, you do need more supplies for this one - but who knows, maybe it just happens you have some light colour cardstock (or any kind of paper for that matter) and a similar ink - just like I did.
How:
In this case you can skip the first layer and let the paper be your background. Then stamp second layer and double stamp the third. It works best if the paper is lighter than the ink. If you have matching dies cutting the shape out should be easy. If not - you can stamp the first layer with watermark ink so you can see where to fussy cut.
The leaves on my card are made with this method - could you tell if you didn't know?




  • Colour mixing

I had most fun with this one! There are so many possibilities here, even with just 4 ink cubes.  And who said layered stamps have to be all the same colour? It really helps that ink cube sets usually come in well matched colours.
How:
Use the lightest colour for the first layer and add darker colour for each layer.
I used Dandelion (yellow), Tangerine (orange) and Strawberry (red) from Desert Sun ink cube set. And just look at the results - I love how colourful those roses are.





Another way of mixing the colours is adding neutral ink - greys and light browns work best. They show the colour behind and darken it a little. I love the vintage effect I got with mixing in Carmel with the other three colours.




  • Double stamping
Probably well known method, and great for using two colours of ink (or even one for triple stamping). I used a combination of yellow and orange and orange and red.




You can also experiment with combining double stamping and colour combinations or double stamping and adding neutral shade (both should work with just 2 colours). There are so many options!

I ended up with a lot of roses ready to be used on the cards. And since I liked the vintage yellow, orange and brown colour combination I've decided to make those into a card. I mounted a rose and a couple of leaves on each corner of the card. I used foam squares of different thickness and mounted some leaves directly on light blue notecard to add some dimension. I cut out "Hello" from gold glitter cardstock and placed it right in the middle.




This Wednesday Simon Says Stamp challenge is Floral Frenzy - so I've decided to join in, since I've stamped all those roses.
If you'd like to have a look at the beautiful creations submitted to SSS challenge or even submit your own entry have a look here.


Sunday, 11 March 2018

Mother's Day

In my previous post I showed the result of me playing around with Altenew layer rose 3d die. Now it's time to use some of the roses I've created on cards. And since it's Mother's Day today here in Ireland I've decided to use them on a card for this very occasion.

I've used light pink cardstock and yellow background die cut (I love the combination of pink and yellow - it's so girly and fresh). I heat embossed the die cut with clear powder twice, to add shine and dimension. This created a simple yet elegant background to showcase my 3d roses. I kept the sentiment simple but raised it by mounting it on a piece of fun foam to make sure it stands out enough.





I've been looking through Simon Says Stamp blog and came across their Wednesday challenge - Girl Power. I though this card goes perfectly with the the theme, not just because of the light and girly design, but also because of the celebration - after all being a mother is one of the greatest powers girls posses!
If you'd like to see more details and also check out some beautiful cards submitted for the challenge here's a link.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Layered Rose Die (Altenew)

When I first saw Aletenew Rose Flurries 3D dies I fell in love instantly! Unfortunately it has been sold out since and I couldn't get my hands on it.

Then I saw Simply Cards and Papercraft were adding a set of Layered Rose dies from Altenew to issue 174 and I ordered my copy straight away (I really do have to subscribe finally!). The order came quicker than I expected and luckily just before the big snow!

The die exceeded my expectations, even though it's only a small set (compared to a full set from Altenew). I spend all day experimenting! I didn't even let lack of coloured cardstock stop me (on that note SCaP have a digital paper ready to use with the dies - how handy is that!). I decided to use inks. I went for Distress Inks and blending tool.

1. Colour mix

Straight away, instead of using 3 shades of the same colour I thought I'd try to use 3 different colours. You can see the results below.






2. Negative

After I've asembled my roses I noticed all the negative space left behind I've worked so hard to ink up my paper and it was such a shame to just throw it out. So I started using the negatives as well. And since it is a layered die there were so many different ways to put these together and achieve all different results with colour and dimension.





I did the same with leaves. I changed around where the dark and light shade go and used negatives as well. I really like the variation.



3. Die cut inlay

I have cut out the base for the rose and covered it with two different colours of negative spaces using die cut inlay technique. It does not offer as much dimension or 3d effect, but it looks really cute.




4. Shades of the same colour
At the end I inked a strip of paper with the same colour of ink but changing intensity, so I ended up with 3 different shades of the same colour. I cut and asembled the roses as they were meant to be in the first place.



Overall the die set is amazing and I would love to get a full set (which can be wieved here  and also available in Peony Dream ). It is so versatile - you can use it with coloured cardstock, ink or as seen in examples in the magazine even with glitter card or vellum. Also check out this blog and video from Jennifer McGuire and her ideas.

At the end I've achived so many different reaults I couldn't decide which I liked most. What do you think?

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Die cut inlay cards

I could not wait to share these!
Every crafter starts getting ready for Christmas early, and I’ve started gathering my materials and tools back in August. And as soon as I was ready I started making cards and trying new techniques.

I love this inlay technique I found on Jennifer Maguire YouTube channel. Jennifer is my card making guru, I just love her work and the way she presents it. You can learn huge variety of techniques using different crafty things and she always has loads of ideas how to use a technique even if you don’t have the specific supplies shown in the video. You can check the video out here (warning, it’s addictive!).




I didn’t use inking for this, I just die cut my designes out of different kinds of cardstock. I found this glittery paper in silver and gold in a random shop and I just love the shimmer on it. It’s not just glitter cardstock, it has this amazing shimmer and it reflects the light beautifully. I hope the photos show it. Unfortunately it is not easy to work with, as it does not die cut very well. I guess the shimmery side is covered with some sort of plastic or foil which stretches in the die cutting machine and does not cut, no matter what kind of shim I use. So I had to run my craft knife after I die cut it to separate the pieces. It was very tedious and it took hours! But I can be very stubborn when I want to and I got through it. It was worth it. I can only hope  it looks as nice on the photos as it does in real life.

I’m now really into making Christmas cards and there’s loads more to come, including shaker cards, so stay tuned!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Autumnal Birthday

For some reason it’s not easy for me to come up with card ideas for men. Maybe it’s because I’m quite a girly girl. But this time the season came in handy and I’ve decided to create this autumn inspired card for a special Birthday.




I embossed the craft cardstock with a tree pattern adding some ink (Distress inks in this case - Mustard Seed and Spiced Marmalade) to add a bit of colour and to highlight the pattern on the embossing. I just smeared a bit of ink on my embossing folder in a few places before adding the cardstock and running it through my Big Shot. I created a tag for the sentiment by cutting a small rectangle out of green cardstock and cutting the corners off with a very small circle die.

I did something special with the die cut sentiment - I used gold embossing powder and heat embossed it 3 times to make it look like it’s made out of metal. As the powder builds up and melts it adds some dimension and also covers the edges giving the die cut that metal look. Then I decided to make my faux metal sentiment look a bit tarnished. I took a random stamp with a lot of detail and no.t a lot of background covered, added embossing ink and stamped random areas. Then I added copper coloured embossing powder and heat set it to melt into the gold. I could have used a small brush to apply the ink as well but I found the stamp worked perfectly. I’m quite pedantic so if I had to apply the ink with a brush I’d probably make it look too perfect and symmetrical, which would ruin the look.

I also used the same embossing powder on the background cardstock - I only covered the edges as this is the only visible part of the backround. I repeated the embossing twice just to match that faux metal effect on the sentiment a bit.


Autumn leaves are the final touch on this simple card - I just die cut them out of yellow card stock and added some ink shading (I used Spiced Marmalade again). I used very nice die cuts from Die Cutting Essentials magazine (issue 14 featuring beautiful leafy embossing folder and a set of leaf dies with stitching details).

Overall it's a really simple card, but a couple of the techniques I used here really add to the look and the faux metal sentiment creates a focal point. And most importantly- the Birthday Guy loved it.