Sunday, 28 February 2016

Project 300: A tropical triple challenge entry

I have taken some time off entering challenges but there were a few this week that came together perfectly and I just had to enter them.

The first thing I saw was the color combo at Color Throwdown: I had received this great flamingo and pineapple stamp set from Claire as a gift and I knew the colors would match their theme perfectly.

The layout at Sketch Saturday was perfect for showcasing the flamingo and I knew that I could stamp the pineapple in double ink as a background. I love the effect of this, it carries a vintage feel that is perfect with this color combo.

I saw that I Love ProMarkers were having a number theme this week and so I tailored this for a friend turning 31 soon.

All in all it was a really fun quick make and I'm super pleased I was able to enter a few challenges as well.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Project 299: Papercut personalized mother's day cards

Two of my colleagues asked for very specific mother's day cards this year and, as ever, I like to do something a bit different with a personalized brief. Both are papercut because I thought it was the best way to meet their specific needs.

The headline card was made for a friend whose mother is an Egyptologist. In real life! He said that we should go for a good old fashioned mummy gag and asked for the sentiment specifically. The rest was up to me. I decided that, since this is one of the oldes puns in the book, I would go for a really modern look. I made a mummy shape and then wrapped it in strips of white paper. Harder than it looks, I should mention! I then die cut the sentiment in purple to introduce some color. Finally I added the bling strips just to make it a tiny bit more feminine. Weird twist on the old gag, I hope he likes it.

This card was commissioned by a colleague who said her mum is setting up her own yoga business and wanted to show her taking on the world. I cut out a silhouette of the downward dog position and then cut out some green countries for my globe. The countries were so much harder than the person, honestly I am never paper cutting a globe again. They're not nearly good enough for how much effort and redoing it involved! I layered these over some cloud-patterned vellum, I'm loving this at the moment and have used it several times recently. I tried a version with a sentiment, sent pics to my colleague and we both agreed blank was best.

Really happy with the final products and how different these are from anything else I've ever made for Mother's Day!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Project 298: A modern mother's day design

I decided to try something a bit different for my mother's day portfolio this year. I wanted something bold and modern and decided to try big patches of metalic embossing. I saw a few things on Pinterest that had used heat embossing for stripes and thought I'd give it a go.

I didn't want hard edges, I decided to use paper as a mask but kept it pretty loose. I went for one in silver, one in gold. I then added a white mother's day die sentiment over the bottom stripe and added a double layer of flowers. Super simple but really pretty. I might even make a few more...

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Project 297: Mother's day is so early this year

This year everything is happening early. Easter is in March. Ash Wensday was barely into Feburary. And UK Mother's Day is like tomorrow. ok. Not tomorrow. But so soon. I've only just stopped pushing cards on my colleagues for Vday and now we're into the next big one. Sheesh.

So I hit the ground running this morning and knocked up about 10 cards to start the base of what I'm going to sell .

The headline cards are probably my favourite for the simplicity. I colored some Bugaboo flowers and colored them with ProMarkers. I diecut them out with nesting ovals. And added a candi. Done. People can tell me what they want written in the middle and then it's personalized. Sweet.

This next one is also a Bugaboo image, also diecut on oval, but backed against a cheerful pattern with a Martha border punch and Die-Versions Mother's Day sentiment. Yes I even kept the little die-cut apostrophe. Punctuation is a big deal.

Finally, you may remember this card from Valentine's Day - I had a few left over so I added a die-cut sentiment and updated it. Best repurposing of a card I can think of.

Probably need 1 or 2 more designs but I think this is a pretty good start.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Project 296: Using dies for a custom wedding baby card

I was asked by a colleague to make a card for her brother, celebrating his wedding and birth of his son. She was very specific, asking for gold rings, green and blue to be the colors and the reference to both occasions. I struggled with this one to be honest!

I decided to use my Tim Holtz letter dies and decided type would be my friend - why be symbolic when you can literally spell out what you need to say! I spelled out Mr & Mrs and put them over some hand-cut banners.

I spelled out Baby in peel offs as I thought that would tie into the Congragulations at the bottom. I hate those peel offs they are so thin and hard to use but they're really elegant so they stay in my collection. I added three little hearts to represent the three people in the family.

The rings are die cut out of gold paper and overlapped to make an infinity sign. I added the heart ribbon as an extra little touch. It's a bit busy but I think it's on brief and she'll like it.

Also: I made this cute little mini card using my blooming marvelous set from Stampin' Up - stamps and dies on a 3x3 card. Was pretty quick and easy and using all scraps it was a nice one to throw together. Need to keep this in mind!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Project 295: His and Hers French bulldog Valentines

Two of my colleagues are good friends outside of work and, as one was commissioning a Valentine for his wife, he was struggling to think of what to request. My other colleague piped up with 'She likes French bulldogs! Actually, can I get one too?' And thus I had a request for two French bulldog cards in the space of 30 seconds.

We thought it would be funny if they were similar but different, so I looked around online, found two great little images on Pinterest and printed them out. I so very rarely use images like this that I aim to be fair and only take things that publicly available in that way. I chose slightly sad looking ones because honestly they are just too funy! I added a hint of coloring but didn't want to treat it like a full digi, I liked the minimal coloring, felt more edgy. I die cut them out with my wonky heart dies from Xcut.

I chose my papers carefully for the background, going with a modern-but-vintage rose for the card for wife-of-my-colleague and the fun blue and green for the partner-of-my-colleague. The plain circles were to help the hearts stand out - not convinced by them but they're ok I guess.

I kept it really simple, adding the little sentiment and two blingy hearts. It is Valentine's day after all!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Project 294: A minion Valentine

My colleague always asks me to make minion cards, like this one for her boyfriend. Every time I have to figure out a plan because obviously I don't have any minion kit, I have to make them out of paper each time.

This time I decided to go for a big one holding a heart. Simple and fun without having to make a dozen little overalls like in this minion card. She had asked for something romantic, 'like two minions kissing' but girl minions aren't that cute and I don't think the thought of them kissing is romantic. I abruptly changed the brief to what I thought would work better!

I cut the yellow body out of paper and then die cut a white circle for the eye. My nesting dies gave too big a rim for the glasses so I just markered the edge to get the effect - a bit wonky but never mind. The overalls I cut out by hand with the arms, though the heart is a punch. The flowery paper is from the Neapolitan collection from Recollections and I added red glitter glue to some of the lines - my colleague has sent cards back asking for more glitter glue in the past so I'm trying to adapt to something with more bling! Finally the greeting is from a massive pack of sentiments Claire gave me and it was so subtle that I added a bit of glitter to make it stand out.

The really shy smile and the lopsided arms holding the heart give him a real sweetness, I'm really pleased with the final effect.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Project 293: Two emotional valentines

When I get asked to make personalized cards I am so happy to tailor to what they want. It's often something light-hearted like 'my husband likes dogs' or 'she loves red and polka dots' or whatever. But this week I had two incredibly special requests and both made a pretty emotional impact on me.

The headline card was from someone who told me a tragic story of how their first born daughter passed away in an accident - on Valentine's Day. They don't like to forget her and so the day has a different meaning to them. He asked if I could make a card that showed their two living children dancing or playing with an angel watching over them. He said his wife liked yellow, blue and turquiose.

I wanted to keep any patterns lighthearted but respectful. I chose a pale yellow spotted paper for their daughter, and a white and blue plaid for their little boy (both really old scraps in my scrap file). The cloud paper is vellum layered over a stitched white circle, layered over a plain teal card. I drew on tiny music notes to hint that they were laughing and dancing. For the angel, I used thick offwhite glitter stock for wings, punched into a heart and then cut in half. I cut out her dress and added two layers of Wink of Stella shimmer. I added a band of gold glitter glue as a halo.

I wanted to reflect the parents so I added two solid ribbons at the bottom as a representation of them. I was asked to include this message specifically, so I hand wrote it rather than printing it. Just something special in that I think. I added five little pearls in the middle to represent all of the family members.

This second card is from a completely different brief. A friend is pregnant with her second child and it is very early days. I was asked to make a valentine that was 'light and cheerful' featuring the new arrival and had a specific request for no pink, purple or red.

I came up with the idea of the little heart family and used orange and yellow for the parents and a little green heart to represent their little girl. The tiny blue heart is added to the yellow one with a tiny little bump. I blended the background from orange to blue to represent the colors of the family, and then I added a simple little greeting and some tiny seed pearls for texture.

 I am getting emotional just writing this, I was so honoured to be a part of both these cards. I don't think I've ever had such significant briefs and it really was special making both of these.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Project: Things with wings at MAWTT

Happy Thursday to you! This week's Moving Along With The Times challenge is to use something with wings. I was really inspired by this challenge and had a great time going through my stash, looking at all my lovely winged images.

I decided to go for this set of dragon flies as I thought they were a bit different than my usual butterflies or birds. The layout was inspired by December's Creative Stamping magazine which had a great feature on embossed + blended cards.

I heat embossed the dragonflies in white and then used Distress Inks in Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Squeezed Lemonade and Peacock Feathers. Ithen used an Aquabrush to flick some drops on to get a bleached spot effect. The pearls are by Anitas, the big enamel dot is Recollections and the diecut sentiment is from Sizzix.

I made a little set of cards that feature more winged friends here as once I had found all these stamps in my stash I wanted to use them all. So I've got a butterfly from Inkadoo, a bee from Craft Superstore and a sentiment from Unity Co stamps in addition to the dragonfly. They're all heat embossed in black and blended using a single Distress Ink and cut out with a stitched circle die.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Project 292: A beagle valentine

I get some pretty weird and wonderful commissions from my colleagues and this Valentine's Day I was delighted by a request from a writer to make a beagle card for his girlfriend. Specifically he wanted it to say "I'd be glad if you'd be my Valentine" for the 'be-glad' = 'beagle'. Get it?? :)

I searched high and low for some beagle images online and then reduced them to an outline so I could make them like a digital stamp. I colored and die-cut them using my wonky heart dies from X-Cut and decided to layer it with another color to help it stand out. I asked for a few additional details and discovered his girlfriend likes triangles so I was determined to find a way to get it to work and this beautiful patterned paper from Studio Calico Atlantic collection was perfect.

I kept it really simple and I'm so pleased with the result. Hoping to get a few more fun briefs like this before Vday!