Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Card Blog That Almost Didn't Happen

Yep, that's right.  Today's card-a-thon almost didn't happen.  Because I am a numpty!  No, really, I am.  I take full responsibility for the stupidity of my actions (happy Drew?).  It almost didn't happen wait for it....I stuck my SD card with all the photos on it into the CD ROM drive on my Mac.  Now, stop it.  I know you are laughing but it wasn't first.  The sad thing is, I am obviously not the first to do it as there were a myriad of videos on youtube showing idiots like me how to remove it.  It really hurts to admit this to you all...but only because I know the next time I see you I will have to endure the pointing and laughing.  In my defense, who was the silly person who designed the computer so that the two slots are less than 2 inches apart?!  And who said that I should be looking at what I am doing while I do it?  I can multi-task...wait, maybe not.

Anyhoo...on with the show.

I managed to get my six cards done last night because I had forgotten about the lovely 3D Decoupage scenes that I had so painstakingly put together before going to MUFOG (click the word to find out what it is if you don't know).  I found these while perusing my paper and trying to decide what I was going to do last night.  I'd show you a picture of what they looked like but I was just a wee bit spacey last night so instead, here is the picture of all six finished:
Pretty cute and easy to do.  The great thing about the 3D Decoupage sheets these days is that they are die cut (so just push the shapes out of the card) and numbered so all you have to do is follow the order and tape them together.  No cutting!

Because these are just stock standard cards (in other words, no technical details), I'm not going to do a standard tutorial for them.  Instead, I'll show you a few short cuts that I have learned over the years so that you too can do this easily.  The first one is to tell you where to cut a normal A4 piece of paper to get two cards out of one piece of paper.  This was one the first things I learned in the various card workshops I have taken.
14.8cm is the magic number.  It looks like 14.9 in the photo but I assure you it isn't.  If you cut at 14.8, you will have to equally sized pieces that can be folded in half to give you the perfect A5 card.  Good tip, eh?  Can't tell you how much card stock that has saved me over the years.

Speaking of measuring.  How many of you spend ages measuring the piece you want to mat so that you get the perfect edge around it?  I don't and for those of you who have gotten cards from me, I bet you didn't even notice (for my pedantic friends out there - I don't want to hear how you noticed but were too nice to tell me.  It's deliberate I tell you!).  This is what I do:
Essentially, I eyeball it.  I adhere what I want to cut on the paper I want to mat with and then stick it in my trimmer and away we go!  It's usually pretty close and takes a lot less time.  However, if it has to be just so, I understand :0)

I also recommend getting a ruler like this:
This happens to be the Tim Holtz Design Ruler but it is awesome.  Because it is clear, it's easy to measure stuff that is already on your card.  In this instance, I was measuring for some ribbon because I forgot to put it on before I taped down!  The other cool thing about this ruler is that it has the holes for marking brad placement (or stitching designs) as well as a metal edge for cutting against.  With the lines, you can also check if things are straight.  So cool!

Also, don't under estimate the value of buying matching stamps and punches.  Yes, it can be expensive, but as a time saver, it's worth it!  Here is the one I used in my cards:
A little later, I chose to make one of my decoupage pieces look like an ornament hanging from some tinsel.  This is what I did for that particular look:
I cut a piece of twine and used sticky tape to attach it to the back of the decoupage piece.
Then on my tinsel ribbon, I tied a separate piece of twine into a bow.
Then I adhered the ribbon down with Glossy Accents (an Inkssentials product).  Because the bow was separate from the piece coming off the decoupage, I could slide it around until it was just right.
I trimmed the ribbon to size and the card is done!

Last but not least is just a reminder that there are plenty of thing around the house that you can use in your craft.  This is one of them.
Staples!  Lots of craft stores sell "specialty" ones that will cost you a fortune and if you are looking for special coloured staples you may have to buy one but if just regular old staples will do, then you probably have at least one around the house!  Use'll be happy you did.

So that is all from me people.  Tonight's effort is more of an artwork but I have another dastardly plan to make up the time another night ;0)



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Card Night 2

This did not go as planned!  While I was working on yesterday's post (waiting for all those photos to upload), I started making last night's card.  I was going to have a go at a clear card.  Alas, the clear stuff I have just would not let the ink dry (and they were looking really awesome too).  So, I had to start from scratch.

I was feeling a tad tired so I decided to use the Splitcoaststampers Resource section for some inspiration as I remembered as special fold card that had stumped me previously.  I found it and that is what I made last night - 1 of the 4 I was SUPPOSED to make.  I got stuck on the closure.  I wanted to try something "different".  By the time 10:30pm rolled around, I decided that I may have to concede and do a belly band for the I did :0)

This was the end result:
 This is the card closed (with the offending belly band).
Card in the "open" state
As it would be displayed (sorry for the picture quality but the camera just did not want to cooperate)

Now, I don't see any sense in re-inventing the wheel.  Especially when that wheel was created by Beate Johns - one of the main resource providers from Splitcoaststampers.  Therefore, I have posted a link to her tutorial below.  I didn't change a thing except I used plain paper as my base instead of patterned.  If you don't have square envelopes - you can make them ;0) Enjoy!

Box Card

I'm now off to attempt to get three more of these made before the little man wakes up from his nap!  See you tomorrow with tonight's creations.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some Christmas Cards and Some News

Howdy people!  I have been away too long but I have a plan to keep myself more involved with this blog but we will get to that as we go along.  This will be a long post so hang with me.

The first bit of news is that I intend to make this blog more of a tutorial style blog.  Therefore, instead of just showing you the finished product and giving you some information on the products I used, I'm going to attempt to show you a step by step of how I put it together.  Please bear with me as we go along as I am new to this and I am hoping that as I go along I will get better at it.  What I found last night is that it is REALLY hard to take pictures of each step and have your hands in there!  I will need to get a light weight tripod in order for this to work properly but until then, the following is what you will get!!  I will include a list of products used at the end of each post too.

So, I have not been doing what I should and now I have a week to complete 30 cards (eekk!).  I made a plan to make four each night so that by Monday, they will all be done and posted.  Of course, the international cards have all been made, filled out and posted - this is just for you Aussie people who get cards from me.  Last night, I decided to mimic a card that I found on Splitcoaststampers (where else?).  If you have never been there, click on the name and visit a wonderland of amazing card makers.  I chose a card to play with by nox2stamp.  If you want to see it, click her name and you can see what I chose as inspiration.  I ended up with these:

Although much alike, they also have some different touches like the sentiment, the gems used and the ribbon.  How did I do it I hear you asking?!  Well, here is how.

First, I die cut some tags using Grunge paper and Spellbinders Fancy Tags 2 and 3.   I did not use the embossing feature of these dies this time as the detail won't be visible on the final product.  I chose grunge paper instead of chipboard as I wanted the flexibility for later stages in the project.
With these dies, I find that the cut product may stick in the die and that pieces of the cut will stay in place.  I use a die pick or poker to remove them.
Once the pieces are cleaned, I used an Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabber in Snow cap to paint them.  Being impatient, I used a heat gun to dry them quickly.
This is what they will look like when you are done with the paint dabber and heat tool :0)
Next, cover each tag with Distress crackle paint in Rock Candy (which is clear).  This has to be left to dry on its own until the cracks have really started to appear.  If it is dried with a heat tool, the cracks don't have time to form.

I have the small bottle of the rock candy crackle paint and will have to buy the large pot next time as I love it!  Distress crackle comes in LOTS of colours and gives a fabulous aged look to your projects.
While the tags dry, it's time to get to stamping the main image.  As I wanted the look of a wreath, I masked off the centre of the Stampin' Up Medallion stamp with a circle punched with a 1 3/4 inch punch before inking.  I used SU Rich Razzleberry for the ink and the base card stock.  When inking, I found that the inner circle wasn't getting inked up properly so I finished the job with the matching SU Marker.
As I had to use a marker, I used the huffing technique before stamping.  For those of you unfamiliar with this, it means I breathed in a huffing manner over the stamp to help reactivate the ink.  This only works with water based inks.  I also distressed the edges and inked them using a make up sponge with the Rich Razzleberry.  Notice that it is kind of messy.  Personally, I don't have an issue with this.  Most of this will get covered up anyway but I like a shabby look so I don't worry to much when I edge the sides of an image.  If you don't like the look, just work more slowly and carefully!
Once all of the card fronts were stamped, I taped them to the Rich Razzleberry card stock.  Then I added rhinestones and pearls to the middle of each wreath.  I used some light green and silver rhinestones and some pale blue, cream and white pearls so each card is a little different.
Here is a close up of the detail so that you can see what I did.  I alternated the pearls and rhinestones on the circle pattern left by the stamp.
Here are all four waiting for the tags and bows to be attached.
Once the cracks have really developed in the tags, I use my heat tool to finish off the drying process.  It's a little hard to see the cracks now but just wait!  I'll make them stand out shortly.

Oh, by the way, I work on a craft sheet (from the Ranger Inkssentials range).  It allows you to do everything except cut on it so when I covered the tags in the crackle paint, I knew it would all come off with a little soap and water.  I highly recommend it!
Here is a close up of those cracks in the tag.  Cool huh?!
Once all of the tags are dry, I stamped my sentiment on each one using Ranger's Archival Ink in Jet Black (are we seeing a theme here?). Archival is permanent ink and is waterproof once dry.  As I am going to work more on top of this image, I needed an ink that will stay in place.  This time, I used cling stamps.  Personally, I prefer them (the clear version) as you can see exactly where you are stamping.
Here are a few of the tags with their sentiments.  I used the heat tool to speed up the drying of the ink.
Next I used an ink blending tool and Distress Ink in Pumice Stone to highlight the cracks.  You need to use a twisting motion with the tool in order to really get the ink down in there.  When I am happy with the ink saturation, I wipe the surface with a soft cloth to removed the ink from everywhere but the cracks.  I love how this looks.
Next, I covered the whole tag with clear VersaMark ink and then covered it with Ranger Super Fine Detail Clear Embossing powder and heated it.  Notice the tweezers.  In order to get the thick look with regular embossing powder, I needed to apply 3 to 4 coats.  If you are able to move quickly (to enable this, I have my embossing powder in a larger container with a plastic spoon), you can do all these layers on top of each other without the need of more VersaMark.  If you don't feel confident with this, allow the tag to cool, apply another coat of VersaMark and embossing powder each time.

Here is the tag after embossing.  Notice the smooth, clear, shiny finish?  This can be done easier with UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) but I only had white, not clear.  It will only take about 2 coats for the UTEE to be finished and the result will be even thicker.  See the Faux Crazed Porcelain tutorial here for a better idea of what I am talking about.
Remember I said I chose grunge paper over chip board?  This is why.  Once I "enamelled" the tag, I very gently bent it until the enamel cracked.  Make sure the tag is cool before you do this.  It adds an even more vintage feel to the piece.  You could ink these cracks too but I chose to leave them natural.
Here is a close up of the detail with the enamelling and the cracking.
Add foam tape to the back of each tag and adhere to the card below the wreath.
Once I attached the tag and bow (adhered the bow with a glue dot and they were made from silver cord), I added some bling with Diamond Stickles (another Ranger product).  I had thought of making the whole card shimmer with some Perfect Pearls Mist but I didn't think of it until it was too late!  So, the Stickles were my next option.
Here is a side view of the card so that you can see the dimension.
Bow and wreath detail shot.

Products used:  Spellbinders Fancy Tags 2 and 3, KaiserCraft Pearls, miscellaneous Rhinestones, grunge paper, Stampin' Write in Rich Razzleberry, Stampin' Up Classic Stamp Pad in Rich Razzleberry, EK Success Circle Punch (1 3/4 inch), Ranger Super Fine Detail Clear Embossing Powder, Ranger Diamond Stickles, Ranger Adirondack Paint Dabber in Snow Cap, Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black, Ranger Distress Crackle Paint in Rock Candy, Stampin' Up Medallion and Snow Swirled stamp sets, Stampin' Up Rich Razzleberry Card Stock, Stampin' Up Whisper White Card Stock, acrylic block, various clear stamp sets, Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro, Couture Creations Foam Tape, scissors, pick, misc cord, Heidi Swap Edge Distressing tool, Paper Craft Heat tool, KaiserCraft cutter, Inkssentials craft mat

Are you still there?  If so, here is the other news I have for you all...(jeez this is scary)

I am finally going to take the plunge and start offering classes to the public.  I don't know how often or how much yet.  They will be a mix of card making, scrapbooking and 3D projects and I will not be selling product (at this point any way).  I will have to limit the classes to 6 as I just don't have the room for more yet.

I will work out a schedule and fee and let you all know in the New Year.  Until then, please help me out by passing on this blog to others so that I can get the word out.  Also, leave me a comment if you are interested so I can gauge the insanity of this idea.  And, let me know if this tutorial was helpful or not.  Remember, this is a work in progress and I hope to get better as we go along!

See you tomorrow for the next instalment of my Christmas card making!  (Whew, I thought I'd never finish this post)



Monday, November 21, 2011

Update and a Contest Link

Hi all!

I am still alive, just been busy with life!  I have been crafting my bi-annual craft get away that my friend Chantal organises each year.  It's called MUFOG (multiple unfinished objects group) and it is an absolute blast of a weekend.  Nonstop crafting, laughter, good meals, great friends and a little bit of "creative inspiration".  The next one is scheduled for April next year.  If you are interested in coming along, contact Chantal here.

So what did I make while I was there?  Why Christmas cards of course!  For those of you who haven't seen them, I've posted them on Facebook but will add the photos here shortly.

Also, there is a great site that has regular sketch challenges called Once Upon A Sketch.  They are running a fantastic competition at the moment to win a scrapping prize pack and it's totally easy to do.  Just add them to your blog or Facebook page with a link and then let them know you did it.  It's open to all worldwide too.  Here is what the kit looks like:

Click here to go to the website and check them out!  The work that is presented there is simply gorgeous.

Hope to be back again soon with some exciting news and some more crafty stuff :0)


Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Photo Wallet


I have been working hard on another project for my mum as her birthday is just around the corner. Since we don't get to see her, something that holds pictures of the boys is always a winner!

As usual, I found the instructions for this project on Splitcoaststampers. Seriously, if you are a crafter and haven't checked this site out, you really should. There are some awesome projects there. The link to the project below can be found here. The other fun thing about this project is that it can be carried around with the recipient and be a "brag book"!

So, I actually used something other than Bo Bunny to make this project (shocker, I know). This time I used K&Co Wild Saffron paper and embellishments. I also used some SU stamps (Eastern Blooms and Baroque Motifs) and inks (Daffodil Delight, Baja Breeze, and Sage Shadow).

Here it is in it's closed state:

I used DCWV card stock with the SU border punch. The flower, leaf and lady bug are Wild Saffron embellishments.

This is it opened:

The stamps are SU and the stickers are Wild Saffron. The butterflies are a three stage punch from EK Success punched from the Wild Saffron papers. For all of the stamping on this project, I used the SU markers (in the same colours as the stamp pads) to colour the stamps and then "huffed" on them to reactivate the ink and stamp.

Here are the photo pockets up close:

Here is what the photo wallet looks like fully open.

Obviously I still need to add photos and some journalling but as that is more personal, I decided to show you the project before it's completely finished. This is a very easy, effective project and I will be making more of these for my parents and Drew's mum.

Have a go yourself...I think you will be pleasantly surprised :0)

- Kim

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Stationery Box, A Bookmark and a Card

Hi all!

I have been sitting at my craft desk more regularly lately but I have been quite slack in showing you what I have been doing.  So here is a little catch up on it all.

It seems from September onwards, the days just start to run together.  There are birthdays galore and then there are holidays that, although are not Australian, I still celebrate as I did growing up.  It just doesn't feel right if I don't acknowledge them in some way.  However, this month, there were two special birthdays to be marked in our calendar - my friend Dayna and her daughter.

Dayna was gifted the stationery box.  She told me to tell you all that she was absolutely in love with her gift although I am apparently on call for more cards when she needs them :0)  I am fine with that!  So what is this stationery box I hear you asking?  I found the tutorial on my ever faithful source - Splitcoaststampers.  You can get to it from here.  Most of the large cards are modified copies from other's websites too...sorry, not too original as I had limited time!

This is what mine looked like after I finished.  There are a few pictures as I have chosen to show it both full and empty.  There are 6 cards, 8 gift cards and 8 tags in the box as a "starter kit".  All the items, including the box were made with Bo Bunny Gabrielle papers (no, it's not my favourite at all).  The stamps are a mixture of Stampin Up's Cottage Garden and Vintage Vogue.  I used Ranger Archival Inks in Jet Black, Cobalt, and Olive.  I used a combination of my Glue Glider Pro, Glossy Accents and Xpress It tape to stick it all together.  The flowers were Prima and miscellaneous and most of the embellishments were from the Bo Bunny Gabrielle range.

 For Dayna's daughter, I decided to make a bookmark instead of a regular card.  This way, she would get to see it for the whole year!  I used a technique called ghosting. This is where you stamp in a white versa mark ink and then once dry, ink over the top.  I grabbed the idea from here.

After I stamped the ghost butterfly (Stampin' Up's Great Friends set), I inked the entire tags with Distress Inks (Dusty Concord, Stormy Sky and Victorian Velvet).  Next, I sprayed it with Perfect Pearls Mist in Perfect Pearl and then stamped the butterfly from Stampin' Up's Priceless set. The ribbon was inked with the same Distress Inks and is from the Tim Holtz trims set.  The card stock is Coredination card stock in the Tim Holtz Distress Ink colours.  Finally, I added some diamond Stickles to give the butterflies a little bling of their own.

Finally, the card I made is for my Grandpa who is in hospital.  I'm going to sent some photos along with a message for him to help remind him that we love him very much.  The paper is - oh, I don't know - Bo Bunny Gabrielle?!  The trim is a random one I've had for a while.  The butterfly is cut from matching card stock and the antenna are brown memory thread.  The bling is also a random brand.

So, I hope you have enjoyed all of these.  I know I enjoyed making them and I hope to have some photo wallet ideas up for you before too long!

Have a great week :0)