Monday, 24 April 2017

Project 413: Making tricky papers work

I have loads of paper in my stash. Way too much for one person. Maybe even way too much for like 10 people. Anyway, there are always packs that have a few sheets stuck at the end that I can't use because they are tricky, complicated or just too busy for me to work with other stamps and sentiments.

I decided to challenge myself to give them a go and make a few cards I needed on the list to get through them. The first is so simple. The paper makes me smile but I just couldn't make it work! I have two friends who are changing jobs and moving to Brighton, and while it makes me sad that they are leaving London I'm thrilled for the good things it will mean for their family. I decided just to get the paper down to the height of the paper and then add loads of enamel dots like confetti. That's it. No complicated process or technique, I cut a piece of paper and added dots. And I love it.

This one has great colors but the paper is so muted I have found it hard to use. I decided to add contrast by using a navy bar with a die cut sentiment (both scraps) and there we have a new home card for a friend who recently bought a house. Why go through the effort of something more complicated when this is all we need sometimes?!

And then finally this pretty yellow and pink paper I've had for ages and I love the texture is has but haven't found the right project for it in all the years I've had it. I decided it would work well as a kid card because it's cheerful and pretty. I heat embossed an owl stamp in pink powder and then fussy cut it out. The sentiment is from a Creative Stamping magazine freebie and then I decided to spell out the little girl's name in glitter letters because kids love big glitter letters. Fact. A little yellow button and I think we're done here!

Three tricky papers that I have had for a while and three cards that I wish I had thought to make ages ago!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Project 412: New baby sketch card

I wanted to make a few little cards to send to my parents and my sister's in-laws to celebrate the arrival of my niece. I decided to do something simple and cheerful and when I saw the sketch at Freshly Made Sketches I thought it would work well:

And the color challenge at CAS-ual Fridays was perfect for my modern baby card:

The pink paper is punched with an American Crafts punch that I haven't used in ages but always really like using, it's so sharp it works great for adding detail. I embossed the central blue panel in a houndstooth folder to give it some texture. The central greeting is a washi tape punch from Claire and I used a sentiment that is one of the oldest in my collection. It didn't quite stand out as I wanted it to so I added the darker pink background to give it more prominence. The bows are punched using a Tim Holtz punch and to make them a bit cuter I added white enamel accents to the bows, mimicking the pink enamel accents I added to the background paper.

Really enjoyed this as it features a lot of fun little tools but has a simple look overall.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Project 411: A die-cut feather card for MAWTT

I'm late posting my card for Moving Along with the Times this week - apologies everyone. Wendy has been very patient with me! It's been a stressful few weeks and I'm still picking up dropped balls.

We have a bird and feather challenge this week which is a personal favourite. I thought I'd go for feathers as I'm always using birds, and was inspired by some die cut pins I saw on Pinterest, especially with a blended background peeking through.

I went for blues and greens and blended a large square. I then die cut feathers from a larger white square. The hello is die cut from a lighter part of the blended background which isn't visible from the revealed sections. I added a larger navy border to give it a bit of distinction, then topped it with a handful of tiny pearls. I added Wink of Stella shimmer powder to the die-cut reveals to make it a bit  more shimmery - went a bit overboard but I like the swirly nature it gives.

All in all I really like the card, sorry it's been such a trial to get it posted!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Project 410: A cheerful owl baby card

My niece was born last Monday so in honour of her first week, I wanted to make her a cheerful little card. I used an owl stamp that is a bit tricky because it's mainly filled in - it's really dark in black and yet when you used coloured inks it becomes a bit OTT. I love the image though and discovered that heat embossing it makes it really lovely.

I didn't go for girly girly pinks and purples, I decided to go a bit more neutral with turquoise, coral and peach. The owl uses Recollections teal embossing powder and you can't really tell but there's a lovely iridescent shine. I then colored in some of the gaps with ProMarkers in Coral, Ginger, Pastel Pink and Cool Grey 2.

I fussy cut the owl as close as I could as the white border looked a bit weird on the cream spotted background. I punched the balloons using a Stampin' Up punch and then added some light pink string. The border features a handwritten sentiment - I just couldn't sum up what I wanted with a pre-existing sentiment. I used my new favourite pastel gems as a border and an accent in the top.

So over the moon with her arrival, I am going to post this with a little gift for her and hope it makes its way across the 5,000 miles quickly!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Project 409: A summery sketch challenge

I haven't had the time/mojo the last few weeks for crafting. Which is sad as it's one of my favourite ways to unwind and enjoy my evenings and weekends. But I hit a craft store on my way back from vacation and it inspired a good session at my desk. So now I'm back in it!

I went 'sketch shopping' as I had so many fun new goodies I was a bit overwhelmed and a good sketch challenge helps me focus. I really liked the one at Sketch Saturday:

I started with the background paper, a new one from The Range by Simply Creative. [Spoiler alert: Claire, you are getting this too.] I knew I had some pre-cut die sentiments from Claire about a year ago and I dug through them until I found this great Smile circle. I layered it over a pink scallop circle which doesn't exactly match the sketch but I hope they forgive me!

I then stamped, heat embossed and die cut a flamingo to layer over my stripes of cloudy gem stones. I love these at the moment - they seem more modern than bling and in my session yesterday I used them in just about everything I made. It looks simple but it got me die cutting, embossing and punching and that's the ticket for a good bit of inspiration!

Monday, 20 March 2017

Project 408: A musical die cut wedding card

Two friends are getting married and, while their wedding is totally low key, we're super excited for it. Rarely do you meet a couple that feel so well suited for each other, right from the off.

I have had this musical paper from the Neapolitan Recollections set for ages and it just feels perfect for the couple. The groom was our best man and him and my husband have gone to concerts together since they were in high school. He was in a band until his early 20s with some of our friends and my brother-in-law and music is a big part of his identity.

Once I found the paper I decided to rummage in my pre-die cut folder to see if I could find something fun. I was looking for a die cut sentiment but came across this nice little doily and a sparkly cake die and thought they'd go perfectly with the paper so changed my plan. I added their initials in navy and topped the cake with a sparkly heart bling.

It's a bit country-fair twee, which is what I wanted, and I think the couple will love it next week when we give it to them. Super easy but really personal as well.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Project 407: Some artsy Mother's Day commissions

Two special cards today commissioned for Mother's Day. The headline is a card that a colleague asked me to make featuring freesia (preferably purple freesia), a butterfly and a meerkat. Yes a meerkat. She had sent me a photo reference for the freesia that was really nice and, since I lacked a freesia stamp, I decided to try my hand at colored pencil drawing. Not too shabby I think! I die cut a butterfly and then added a little cut out meerkat. He's probably the weakest link here but, then again, it's not a strong narrative to have a meerkat is it!? After I fussy cut the flowers I arranged it and realized I needed a sentiment so I went to my trusty dies. I'm really pleased with it, even if it is totally random!

This one was too funny - a designer told me he wanted a card for his gran, who was a painter in her youth and from Wales. She liked painting birds and landscapes so I decided to do a little mini watercolour of a Welsh coastline scene in honour of her. I made a little watercolour box and a mini brush and easel out of paper. It was a bit fiddly but I am really pleased with it! Then I found a nice artsy backing paper that has texture but doesn't detract from the scene. I die cut a greeting but liked it better without it - I can always add it back in if my colleague wants it included.

Totally random and different but so pleasing to make!