Monday, 31 August 2015

Project 248: Mix of die cut cards for mom and sis

I’m gearing up from a trip to see my sister and mom soon and I always like to take a collection of cards with me as a gift. 

This time I decided that instead of a matching set I’d make them each a few blank cards that they could use for their own occasions, featuring some of my new craft kit. I’ve loved using feature dies recently and thought this was a fun way to make up a collection of new cards.

The headline card and this one here are using a new Stampin’ Up die and stamp set that I haven’t played with much since Claire gave it to me.  Just been so busy this summer! I decided to use a few of the layers, stamping complimentary colors for the middle layer and then a standout color for the inside of the smallest one. I added die-cut leaves and glittered the spotted pattern for extra texture. The backing papers are all from Trader Jane Recollections stack and I love how exotic they feel. 

Really like these both. With a bit more practice they probably wouldn’t be so time consuming to cut and layer up either!

These next ones are just a bit of fun with my cake dies. I went for two layouts against black and white backgrounds. I added just a touch of bling, flowers and bows. That die is so stand out really don’t’ need much else to make a special card.

Finally I made a bunch of kit cards using stitched circle dies against craft card. These kites are from Claire and her mom and I love them. They are the easiest, most playful embellishment I’ve played with in a long time and I know my mom and sister will love them as well.

I made some robot cards as well – see this post as they are exactly the same -  so there are a bunch of different things to choose from. I can’t wait to see them and I’m sure they’ll like these new dies as they have received so many of my old ones over the years! 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Project 247: Special anniversary card

This week is my 5 year wedding anniversary - the 'wood' anniversary.

We always have a touch of the traditional in our anniversary celebrations and so I wanted to have wood as part of a central theme on the card. I always incorporate purple into our anniversary cards as well as it was the color theme for our wedding.

My colleague gave me this amazing wooden card stock - yes it's actually super thin wood! I decided to die cut  these lopsided hearts as a nesting set of 5 as a tribute to our five years together. I added the purple layers as this is a remnant from paper I used in our wedding favours - amazingly this is from my last sheet.

The backing paper I have had for years and years - I loved the colors here and thought it made it a bit more masculine. The sparkly 5 is from a set Claire gave me. And that's it really! I thought the hearts were such a good feature I'd just leave them be. I can't wait to celebrate - we're taking Friday off to go to a Michelin-starred lunch in London and then maybe a gallery - who knows what he has planned beyond that!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Project 246: Fun with the blending tools

Claire introduced me to a new technique using a blending tool and I am IN LOVE. It is a great technique to get colors and texture and all sorts of fun. So I decided to play with it using three strips I made with Claire and one I made after I raided Amazon and bought all the stuff for myself.

The headline is a card I made tonight using one of the scraps from my first blending attempt with Claire. She also gave me this stamp great stamp and I tried a new black embossing powder to make it stand out. The black speckled a bit so I decided to embrace it and I did a splatter using a iced spruce Distress Ink. I love it. I added two scraps, the green and the red to get a border across the middle and added green twine for an extra earthy texture. The pearls and candy make it a bit more polished. I really liked the roughness with all the technique. A win.

This card is amazing - if I do say so myself. I blended two colors and added two stamps from a free magazine set that I got. The black embossing powder comes out again for a silhouette that I love. I added a Martha Stewart punched border and some purple and blue pearls. The sentiment is for my sister's in-laws, they lost my BIL's grandfather this week and I thought this card would be a nice way to show I was thinking of them.

This card uses the same free card set as above, just a different dragonfly. The card came together organically - the blue paper was on the desk already, the tag was already embossed (for another project that didn't work out) and when I made a little mistake with a slip of the stamp, I took a spotted stamp from a Stampin' Up stamp set and I think it really made the whole card. It's all dotty and fun now. The stitched die is from Claire's collection and that she brought with her.

Finally this card is a great thing featuring new stamps Claire brought with her. This was my first blending tool attempt and I thought it worked well with this backing paper from Studio Callico. The greeting is great, isn't it? Such a simple layout but so sweet. The blending works so well to give it a bit of extra pizaaz.

Great technique and I can't wait to play with it that I have all my own stuff!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Project 245: A trio of owls and an elephant

My friend at work commissioned a card for his girlfriend's birhday, with either an owl or an elephant. I've done plenty of owl cards but never an elephant so that was a bit of an adventure!

I decided to make a bunch and let him pick, as I needed to boost my stash a bit and wanted to add a bit of fun to the mix.

The headline card is based on a pin I found on pinterest (actually, most of these are on this board because I was in need of inspiration) and it was just too much fun. I don't have an elephant stamp or punch (never needed one, still don't need one) so I cut him out of paper and added a little ear on top. The button balloons all have matching baker's twine. It was a bit fiddly, the biggest challenge was tying them up and getting the lengths right so the buttons were different heights.

The elephant doesn't really look like an elephant. But who cares. I love it. If he doesn't go for this one, I'm keeping it.

I decided to focus all the owls on the Stampin' Up punch as I haven't used him in a while. The first is one is probably my favorite, and it really was pretty simple. The branches are from a different Stampin' Up bird set but I thought he needed to be sitting on something within his little box. The moon is a stitched circle die from Claire. The papers are all from my stash - I think my mother-in-law gifted me the spotted paper and the green is just old!

The second one here was a simple layout that I did on a playdate with Claire in the week. I used a Studio Callico paper and a bit of twine and a pre-printed tag punched from Claire's stash ages ago. It's really simple but I really like it. Again, one for the stash (or one to make again if he chooses this).

Finally this little guy was an idea from - you guessed it - Pinterest. I saw this aperture idea of using a woodgrain paper and loved it. I used corrugated brown card for the background and layered a little purple owl inside. I went purple, not a natural color because I wanted some standout. I used a Martha Stewart punch for the branch leaves. I don't love the but they do add texture. Finally I used a nice little sentiment and some green twine.

I'm pleased with my random little set and can't wait to see what he chooses.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Project 244: Using scraps and kites

I had a great idea when I was cleaning up my desk. I had 2 strips of paper (one of which was reversable with a patterned and plain side) and they were exactly the right colors to match these kite embellishments that Claire had given to me earlier this summer.

These two cards took less than 10 minutes. Possibly 5. The pink card features two sides of one paper and all paper scraps were the widths and heights of what was on my table already. The blue card has scraps that I had to trim down slightly but still organically the right shapes to start with. The little tags are from Claire, a while back now, and worked so well with the cheerful kites.

I am going to be having so much fun with these kites, they make card making so easy and yet still look so fresh. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Project 245: A retro KennyK birthday

My colleague has a very distinctive 40s style and for her birthday it just had to be KennyK.

I thought it would work well in their Anything Goes with a Twist of a color challenge. The blues, yellow and red candy work with their scheme well.

I chose the What If stamp and colored it with blues, yellow and orange using ProMarkers. Her hair is black and grey, like my colleague's, but just like my colleague it's a distinctive streak which makes it far more interesting.

I used an origami sheet from Tiger for the background and the lovely reversed out greeting is from Claire's collection. I decided to go for a scrappy, haphazard greeting instead of a straight one. Why not!

I love how simple it is and can't wait to give it to her.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Project 243: Heat embossed Big Ben

This weekend a colleague hosted a party and as a hostess gift I wanted to make her a set of cards. She likes to give people London-themed cards (she's also a regular purchaser of my cards so I know this!) so I wanted to see what I could do that would be different than her previous commissions.

I have this funky Big Ben stamp that I love and I was figuring out what to do with it when it hit me: gold embossing powder would be perfect to match the colors of the real life clock tower. I'm still a bit intimidated by heat embossing but really wanted to give it a go.

I love the results. It was a bit hard to get clean lines - I did 6 tries to get a set of 4 - but I am so pleased with this. I kept the rest really simple - black and white modern papers with a pop of color around the borders and to give a greeting. I used 4 different messages that were all fairly generic so that she'd be able to do with it as she wanted. I added a few little black bling gems to give it a bit of texture and break up the space.

The party was a real hit (I got home just before 2) and I think the lesson of the weekend is I should be a bit braver and just try these things more.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Project 242: Double die-cut fun

Claire brought me some amazing dies from a sale in the US and this weekend I spent some time playing with them. I chose two complicated ones as features to see what we could do with them.

For this headline card, I wanted a fun, playful card to feature this robot. I chose three patterend backgrounds for my cards and then used the largest of an Xcut nesting stack of stars to cut big backgrounds out.

The robots were a bit fiddly but they worked well against the stars.I raised them with foam so they would stand out more. It took only a little effort (most of it getting the little robot bits out of the die cut) and I had 3 different varians.

Next I wanted to play with this intricate cake die. My cousin's wedding is coming up so I thought it was a good way to put it to the test. I decided to go for a neutral beige theme throughout as an elegant scheme. The Mr and Mrs die cut is from Claire in a pack she sent me a while back. The background paper is from the stash but I couldn't say from whom as it's just been kicking around my drawer loose (the shame of a messy desk). Finally I added a bit of pearl bling to give it a touch of class. Really simple but pretty I think.

These were all really simple to make but because of the intricacies of the dies they really look modern and as if they took ages. That's a win in my book.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Project 241: A congratulations card and set

I have a lovely friend in a 17 year-old girl who walks my dog and generally looks after him when we are out doing something. She's clever and funny and when she got her amazing exam results this week I wanted to do something to show my support.

The headline card was something I created based on a new Stamping Up set I have. There are all these phrases so you can build your own greeting and I thought these words would be good for a congratulatory message as much as a birthday one. I used scraps that matched the pattern paper for all the tags. The little die-cut circle is from Claire and I layered it over a small white scallop and I thought it was really sweet to stand out from the other words.

Back in June I discovered the colored in stamp die cut in circle + scallop circle + hand drawn border was a winning combo. I made two cards in the set below, a sunflower and toadstool pair, and thought they were cheerful and fun and would work well as a set. Using the same Fiskars stamp set, I choose a bee for one, and a double set of worms and a butterfly for the other to make a nice little mini-card set.

I think it's really a sweet set and (as I had time to drop them over today sine creating them) I think it's a format I'll revisit when I need a quick and cheerful card set.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Project 240: A colored set for Grandma

I was putting together a little package for my Grandma, including a 4 page article about the Queen and some other bits and bobs, and wanted to make her a little set of cards. At 93, she writes her grandkids monthly and there are loads of us.

Or, at least, she writes me monthly. If my cousins are reading this and this doesn't sound true: clearly I'm winning this game.

When I was doing the coloring challenge earlier this year I found this really simple recipe to be a huge success: stamp (digi or otherwise) die cut in a circle + scallop circle of patterned paper + square white card blank + embellishment (flower, tag, banner, whatever). It keeps it CAS, lets the image be the hero and it's super easy to do in bulk.

I love these watering can flowers from Bugaboo. Claire gave them to me ages ago and I love how simple they are and yet they feel modern and cheerful. I did a different color of flower x4 (1 is not shown. Don't know why, just didn't like it enough to photo) and colored the cans all grey.

Next I went through my stash and decided gingham papers for  the scallops. Gives it a country feel and I knew it would work with the image without competing.

The flowers were all chosen to match the coloring and so I chose different shapes based on what I had available. I layered a smaller flower and a bit of bling and left them greeting free. Because she writes so often I find she often sends blank cards and thought this would help supplement her stash.

Love that it took about an hour to make the whole set, I got to color while watching TV and I know she'll love them. A win.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Project 239: A bespoke bridal tote

A few weeks ago my friend Palo got married and I was so happy to be a bridesmaid and be a part of the process. She had asked us to have a bag of some sort to carry emergency supplies in and we came up with this idea of making a tote bag in their wedding color to use for the occasion.

I had a royal blue bag printed with their name and wedding date on it - only to realise when I received it that I had ordered the wrong date! OOPS. So I got crafty and decided to patch over it.

First, I cut a strip of pink and blue fabric from my stash as the main patch over the date. I have a very limited fabric supply so I was so pleased that this not only worked but was a scrap from a bigger piece the bride had given me for a previous project. I folded the edges and ironed them to get a crease using the hotel iron and hand stitched it over the date.

Did I mention that I ran out of time and had to do this while at the hotel before the wedding?? I hadn't known what I would need to do the fix so I brought a bag of flowers, ribbons, fabric, thread and needles and just made it up as I went.

I stitched on a flower to make it a bit more interesting and then added a rosette flower with ribbons on the back to make that side have a focal point as well.

All in I was really pleased! I thought the bag came out well and the bride loved it. She doesn't know that it was really fixing an OOPS moment so unless she reads this....she never has to know :-P