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Sunday, 10 November 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 71

Our challenge for this fortnight is UK Myths and Legends. I went for something fairly generic but which definitely turns up in some British legends: a dragon!


For this I used a decoupage image from Debbie Moore. I think the CDRom came with a magazine some time ago. I've layered the image using glue gel. For the matting, I've use a Tonic die set - I think its called Celtic Circles so it seemed very appropriate. The result if rather imposing, as I needed an 8 by 8 card to accommodate it.

I hope you can join us this time.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Interntional Art and Soul Challenge 70

The theme of this fortnight is Celebrate Autumn, which is something that I, as someone who doesn't like hot weather, definitely does!

The basis of this card is paper embroidery. The pattern comes from 101 Ideas for Paper Embroidery by Erica Fortgens. I used machine embroidery thread in shades of red, orange and gold, and matted the result onto some copper coloured mirror card. For the background, I stamped a piece of cream card with leaves using stamps from Crafter's Companion and a Kaleidoscope ink pad.

I do hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 243

The theme for this fortnight is Add Some Sparkle, so an ideal theme if you want to get a Christmas card (or several) done, or in fact, a project for any purpose so long as it has a bit of sparkle!

I decided to make a Christmas card, and I kept it fairly simple, and what's more, fairly flat so it won't need a 'large' stamp!

Having decided to keep things simple, I looked through my box of Christmas dies and when I spotted this one, given the theme, I didn't look any further. It's a Sheena Douglass die, and, believe it or not, I cut it using some glitter card. The photo doesn't make that at all obvious, but it is there! The background I created using various snowflake stamps, Versamark ink and Perfect Pearl powder. (The snowflake stamps will be from a variety of manufacturers, as I've placed all sorts of small stamps like that on a single storage sheet for use with the Cardio Majestix stamp holders which are such a good idea for this sort of stamping.) And apart from a little layering, that's it. I suspect there'll be several more cards of this general design before Christmas as it was fairly easy, but still (with the stamping) feels a little bit creative.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 242

The challenge for this fortnight is to Add a Critter. That critter can be any you want, and the project can be any format at all.

I chose to make a couple of Christmas cards using some stamps from Creative Stamping magazine.


I stamped using Memento ink, using a mask to add the llama after stamping the jumper. The image is coloured with Promarkers, and the banner below with Sakura Stardust pens. I added a bit of background texture, again using Promarker.

And another one - or perhaps the same llama with a different jumper. The techniques and products used were the same.

I do hope you can join us this time.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 68

Our challenge for this fortnight is to make tags. They can be for any purpose, and I chose to make some Christmas tags.


I used a die from Marianne which punches holes (a 16 by 16 grid) in card to allow you to cross stitch directly. I actually punched two lots of holes to get the rectangle shown, and the basic tag shape was cut using a Tattered Lace die. I put a second tag shape on the back to cover the 'working'.

The cross stitch patterns came from some magazines I've had for at least 20 years. When I first got in to cross stitch, I used to buy magazines and take out any pages I thought might be useful. I stored these in plastic wallets. I still have a couple of lever arch files of these.

To complete the tags, I punched a hole and added some baker's twine.

I do hope you can join us.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 241

Our challenge for this fortnight is on the theme of Autumn Colours.

One of the first things I think of when faced with this type of theme, is my Kaleidoscope ink pad in Autumn shades, and that's what I went with here.

A very CAS design here. The stamps are from Woodware, and after stamping, I coloured the butterfly with Promarkers in shades similar t the ink colours. A little matting and layering, and that's it. I've made a non standard size of card here, so I'll have to make an envelope for it, but the stamp is so gorgeous, I really didn't want it to share its glory with anything else.

I do hoe you can jjoin us this time.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 67

The theme for this fortnight is Things with Wings. So, birds, insects, fairies, angels ... anything that has wings.

I made an exploding box as an example for my craft group.

The members are not generally papercrafters, so I needed to keep the project fairly basic and not to require many of the tools I take for granted. In the end, they decided they wanted to make a pop up card instead, but I'm sure I'll find a home for this  box.

The papers are from my stash. The butterflies were cut on my Big Shot Pro using dies by Spellbinders. In both cases, the lower layer was cut in card, and the upper, lacy layer in shimmer paper that I bought from Craft Creations when it was based in Cheshunt. Unfortunately, the new version of the company doesn't seem to be stocking the things I regularly bought from the original company, so I'm having to look elsewhere.

And finally, a close up of the butterflies. I used scraps of die packaging (the clear plastic) to support the butterflies, and you can just see a trace of that in this photo.

I do hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 240

The theme for this fortnight at Crafty Cardmakers is Pearls and/or Gems. I've made a couple of cards using paper embroidery for this challenge. A craft group I belong to tries many different crafts, and a little while ago I did a session on paper embroidery and I made some samples in advance so that people could see the sort of thing that can be done. The other members aren't necessarily cardmakers, or even papercrafters, so it seemed a good idea to have some good examples.


This first card was made using a pricking pattern taken from 101 Ideas for Embroidery on Paper by Erica Fortgens. I used two strands of machine embroidery thread to complete the stitching, and finished each flower with a sticky gem. The central butterfly embellishment was cut using a Spellbinders die set.

Before I discovered books on paper embroidery, I bought some stencils. I used a Quadrant stencil to prick the pattern for this card.

Again, I used machine embroidery thread for the stitching, this time using metallic type threads. I finished the card using some flower shaped gems I've had for many years. They actually reflect a mix of blue, green and pinkish tones depending on how the light hits them, but some shades seem more obvious in the photo. The background paper is from a pad which was a magazine freebie quite a while ago.

I do hope you can join us this time.

Sunday, 1 September 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 66

The challenge for this fortnight is to Layer it Up. So, we want to see lots of layers, but otherwise, any project is fine!

I recently had a look through all my very old metal templates. Some are just for embossing, some for paper pricking and a few are mixed. One set I haven't used a great deal, and I decided to get them out for another go. I bought them quite early in my cardmaking journey and found them very difficult to use, so I was pleased when I managed to make two different cards without too much difficulty!

The templates are from Lucido, and I used a couple of different ones.

My first attempt. The template is for cutting, pricking and stitching, as well as embossing, but I didn't use the embossing sectins. The paper is from a Dovecraft set called Garden Party. I cut out the heart and centre shapes by hand, and edged them with some Distress Ink before assembly. I pricked the holes and stitched with maching embroidery thread, and completed the effecgt with a sticky gem. The image itself comprises three paper layers, so it total, there are 7 layers in the design.

The second card is actually my favourite of the two, but the photos really don't do it justice.


A different template, and this time I've used some plain card, some Papermania paper and some gorgeous glitter card. Stitching was again using machine embroidery thread, and this one has a total of 6 layers.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 239

The theme for this fortnight's challenge is It's a Bug's Life. So anything goes so long as there's an insect of some type playing a starring role.



For this card, I used a stamp from an issue of Creative Stamper magazine. These stamps were designed by Crafty Individuals which just happens to be one of my favourite companies.

I first created a background with Distress Ink on watercolour paper, and once dry, I stamped and embossed the dragonfly in white. For the central image, I used the same stamp, but this time I embossed it in dark blue, before I coloured the wings and body with some Promarkers. And apart from matting and layering, that was it.

I do hope you can join us this time.

Sunday, 18 August 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 65

The challenge for this fortnight is an easy one, on the theme of  flowers. So, you can share any project you like, so long as there are some flowers somewhere on it.

I''ve made a baby shower card.

I must say, I don't really get the concept. Yes, people have always given gifts for a new baby, but the idea of having a party for that purpose seems a bit odd to me. I remember my mother being shocked when we actually had the pram for our firstborn delivered before he arrived as she considered that very unlucky. So, I suppose things change, and my sister is doing a shower for my nephew's girlfriend who's expecting a little girl next month.

Nothing too complicated: dies from Marianne, Sue Wilson and Spellbinders, a stamp from Creative Expressions, some embossing powder, Pan Pastel, paper from Lily of the Valley and a few sticky gems. (I don't have a single stamp or die that refers to a baby shower. (Or a bridal shower if it comes t that.) So I had to improvise!

I do hope you'll join us this time, and share your floral creations!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 64

The challenge for this fortnight is to use embossing - either heat or dry.

I've done some heat embossing on a Chocolate Baroque stamp I've had for a long time. It's fair to say it comes out most years as I get into making Christmas cards, and I'm always searching for a different look.

I stamped with Versamark ink and embossed with gold detail powder. I added some colour to the diamonds using a Spectrum Noir Glitter marker. The background was made using stencils and a gelli plate with distress oxide ink and gilding wax. Even though the script in the background isn't the same as on the image, I do like this combination. Some gold mirror and white matting and that's it!

I do hope you can join us this time.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 63

The challenge for this fortnight is Monochrome. That can be any one colour, and for the purpose of this, black and white don't have to count as colours.

I fancied doing something while watching a series, and decided a little paper weaving fitted the bill.

I used a Creative Expressions die for this - the one with the narrowest strips. I used two offset layers of the darker yellow and wove in bits of the paler lemon colour. It took a while, but I think the effect and texture is wort the effort. To complete, I cut a frame and sentiment in black. I like the simplicity of the design - it's definitely plain enough for one of the men in my family!

I do hope you can join us.

Monday, 15 July 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 238

The theme for this fortnight is Here Comes Summer.  This means that anything that means summer to you is perfect, although if the connection isn't obvious, it'd be great if you could mention the reason!


Although the idea of sitting on a beach in high summer doesn't appeal to me at all, there's something about the idea of an old-fashioned deck chair on a sandy beach that just seems to me to mean, 'summer'.

I started by masking most of the card, leaving just an oval in the centre. I applied some distress ink for the sky, and used a scrap of paper to give an uneven edge to the bottom of that. Then, I created a sandy lower half in the same way. Of course, I forgot to mask off for the sun, so I added that after using Pan Pastel.

Once that was done, I masked the oval, and stamped a selection of seashells and starfish from the Card-io Majestix range using Memento ink. When that was done, I added a little Memento ink to the background.

To complete the card, I cut the deck chair using a Joanna Sheen die, and completed the scene with a few more images from the Card-io set.

I do hope you can join us this time.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 62

The challenge for this fortnight is Christmas in July. So, here's your chance to get started on your Christmas cards or gifts, if you haven''t already done that.

I've been playing with a technique for a while - using Tapestry or Majestix stamps or other small stamps from my collection.

And this is another one! The main tree stamp is from Crafty Impressions and I'm afraid I've got no idea who made the bauble stamps. They've been in my collection for years, and I suspect they came from Hobbycraft when I was first trying my hand at stamping.

I've used a Kaleidacolor ink pad for all the stamping. I was lucky enough to find some on sale at Ally Pally in April, and this is one of the new ones  - Fruitcake.The background shading uses Distress Ink.

To finish the card I added some sticky gems to the tree, and ran a clear Sakura Stardust pen around the dotty outline.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 237

The challenge at Crafty Cardmakers for this fortnight is to use a die or punch. Once you've done that, there are no restrictions on what you produce!

For this card, I started with a background which I created using my gelli-plate, some Distress Oxide ink and a stencil. The die cuts were cut using a die from Tonic's Sew Pretty range. I stitched them with metallic gold thread. The sentiment was stamped with a stamp from John Lockwood/Creative Expressions, and I highlighted the pretty flowers with a little glitter using Crafter's Companion glitter pens in yellow and teal. I completed the card with some sticky gems.

I do hope you can join us this time.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 61

Our challenge for this fortnight is to use stars and/or stripes in your creation.

I opted to use some stars, and came up with this - an early Christmas card.


I started by stamping the central image. It's a stamp I bought which I believe is from Creative Expressions/U Mount. I coloured the letters with Promarkers. Then, I masked around the sentiment and added some Distress Ink in Scattered Straw and Wild Honey. I stamed some stars: they're mainly from another Creative Expressions set, but the patterned one comes from a magazine freebie from quite a long time ago. The outline stamps were stamped with Memento ink and coloured with Promarkers. The solid stars were stamped with Versamark ink and then I added some Perfect Pearl in gold. To add a little more texture, I added a little more blue ink using a Creative Expressions stamp, and finished the background using an embossing pen and more Perfect Pearl.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 236

For this fortnight's challenge we want to see anything but a card. Apart from that, it's 'anything goes'!

Years ago, I saw a tutorial on decorating a candle using an image stamped onto tissue paper. I always fancied having a go, but never did. (To be honest, I don't use many candles as my husband can't abide them!) Anyway, a craft group of which I'm a member was looking for some ideas for things they hadn't tried before, and I suggested candle decoration. But, never having tried it before, I found a tutorial and had a go in advance.

The video I found is this one from Lavinia Stamps.

And this was the result:

Not a Lavinia stamp, but one of the gorgeous set of Macintoshesque stamps from Clarity. I stamped the image onto tissue paper using Memento ink and coloured with Promarkers. Beware if trying this: like all alcohol markers, Promarkers have a tendency to leak through paper, but this is much more significant with tissue paper. Fortunately, I had some copy paper under my tissue paper. Once I'd trimmed around the image, I wrapped some wax paper around it and used my heat gun to gently melt the tissue paper into the candle. I was fairly impressed with the result!

But, a pretty candle needs a box, doesn't it? I checked, and the square Tonic Kaleidoscope box is just about the right size for this candle. (Its just s smidge small, but I managed to get it to work.)

 So, I stamped the same panel onto Crafter's Companion Neenah card and again, coloured with Promarkers. I assembled a box to fit - but I only have the two shortest sets of sides, so I had to fudge the side panels. I cut the longer of the two I had, leaving the end cut line over the edge of the cutting plate, and then continued the cuts with a trimmer, and extended the crease lines.

And here's the completed set.

I'm going to do the another one using the Snowdrops stamp from the same range so I've got a 'matching' set, but I'll wait and do that at the craft group.

I do hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 235

The theme of the challenge for this fortnight is Masculine. And like many cardmakers, this is a theme I always find difficult.

I started with some basic copy paper, a gelli plate, stencils and some acrylic paint. I added some further detail using silver gilding wax and another stencil.

The sentiment is stamped (but I don't have a record of the manufacturer. I think it might be Personal Expressions, but I'm really not sure. I do know it''s a stamp set I bought a number of years ago and it includes many different sentiments. The die is from Sizzix.

The result is a card for my husband. He likes green, and doesn't like things which are heavily embellished, so I hope this will appeal.

I hope you can join us this time.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 59

The theme for this fortnight's challenge is Lace and Pearls.

I belong to a craft group that's made up of people who do a variety of crafts but mainly include pottery and knitting/crochet. Three times a year, we plan our sessions with one member agreeing to lead a session. As a papercrafter, I find that quite hard. It's not that I don't have ideas, but rather that I struggle to come up with ideas which translate to a hall where I don't have access to most of my craft room!

For the next meeting, I'm going to take this project as a suggestion. It's a basic pop up card, and obviously, people can decorate it any way they want - pre-printed images, decoupage, stamped images, things cut from magazines. Anyway, this is what I came up with.

The front of the card. I've used some paper I bought years ago. It was part of a lot which I suspect had been cut from much larger sheets. This one was always a favourite, but I'd never found the ideal project (until now.) I've added a strip of card and lace, as well as the butterfly which was cut using a very old Marianne die. I added lots of sticky pearls and some matting that's about it for the front.

The inside. As you can see, the 'pop up' mechanism is about as simple as possible! I've covered the inside with some Dovecraft paper, and used dies from Tattered Lace and Joanna Sheen to make the flowers and vase.

A close up of the vase.

And a slightly different angle on the front ... just because!

I do hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 234

The challenge for this fortnight is Birthdays and I'm hosting, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!

I fell in love with these Mackintoshesque stamps from Clarity when I first saw them, and finally succumbed when there was a sale just before Christmas. This is my first use of this stamp. I decided not to use the included sentiment (which in this case would have read Bed of Roses.) Instead, I used a rubber stamp I''ve had for a long time, and while it's from an Art Deco set, I can't remember the manufacturer. I coloured the image with Promarkers.

For the background, I've used stamps from two more manufacturers. The birthday text is from Woodware and the floral grid is from Creative Expressions. I added some background colour to the text image using Distress Ink and coloured the floral image using Promarkers. Both were matted to some red card and to complete the card, I added some sticky paper lace.

I hope you can join us this time.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 58

The challenge for this fortnight is ecology/environment/conservation. That's quite a wide-ranging theme, and there are lots of possibilities.

I decided to go for a 'weather' theme; something close to my heart coming from the wettest part of the UK (by some measure for some time period.)

The girl and umbrella images are freebies from Creative Stamping magazine and the background was embossed using an Apple Blossom folder.

To add some further detail to the background, I added some Pan Pastel in white to the clouds, some shimmer to the wavy section using a Sakura Stardust pen and some glitter to the raindrops using a Quickie glue pen and some Glamour Dust.

The images took a bit of combining. I wanted the umbrella in the foreground, but I needed the handle to be behind the girl's hand. It took me a couple of goes to get it right, but I finally got something close to right. The only issue was that I had to use a dark colour when colouring the umbrella handle as the end of it wasn't properly masked!

I coloured the result with Promarkers and cut around the combined image.

I do hope you can join us this time!

Monday, 6 May 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 233

Our challenge for this fortnight is 3 - 2 - 1! You need to use elements in those quantities, but what those elements are is up to you! To help those visiting your blog, it'd would be great if you could specify somewhere what your 3 - 2 - 1 are.

In this case, my three is flowers, my two is papers and my one is the sentiment.

The main background paper (and the flowers) use paper decorated using acrylic paint, stencils and a gelli plate. The gingham paper has been in my stash I'm not completely sure where it came from, but I suspect it was from Payper Box. (I used to see them at Olympia at a craft show, but that was many years ago. They might have visited Ally Pally but again, not recently.)

To cut the flowers, I used Crafter's Companion dies, and I finished them with some liquid pearl.

the sentiment is computer- generated. I cut and matted it using dies from Spellbinders.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 57

The challenge for this fortnight is an easy one if you're a card maker. Apart from, perhaps, Christmas, I make more cards for birthdays than any other reason and that's our theme this time: Birthday!

I was inspired for this card by an issue of Creative Stamping magazine - the one that was out in February. I started by using Distress Oxides on the backround, daubing them on to card which had been spritzed. When that was dry, I stamped several of the elements from the stamps included with the magazine using Distress Ink and Memento ink. When all that was dry, I stampped another of the stamps from that issue in embossing ink and added white embossing powder. To complete, I used the Happy Birthday stamp which was also part of the set.

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 232

The theme for this fortnight's challenge is Dragons. I decided to use an image from the Josephine Wall/Joanna Sheen CDRom Enchanted Dreams.



First, I sized and cropped the image to 6in square. Then, I took the area of pinkish flowers in the bottom left of the image, and arranged them in an overall pattern in Photoshop Elements and added a green textured background. I printed both this paper and the image onto Ryman Matte Photo Card. (I understand they don't do that card any more, so I'm going to have to hoard my supply.)

I used an Elizabeth Craft die to make the frame. To finish, I made some flowers using Sizzix Susan's Garden dies. I added shading using Pan Pastels.

The dragon is quite a small part of the image, so here's a close up.


And that's it. Not a card, more just a way to display one of these gorgeous images.

Sunday, 14 April 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge

The challenge for this fortnight is Easter. Other than that, you can make whatever you want, so long as you have an Easter theme.

Now, if you saw my recent post for the Crafty Cardmakers design team, you might spot something a little familiar. I made a pair of Easter cards using the same base dies and similar colours, and this is the second one of those.

I made a box card using, as a basis, a Spellbinders die set. I covered the panels in paper from a Kirstie Alsop set. The flowers were made using dies from a variety of manufacturers including Crafter's Companion, Apple Blossom, and Marianne. To finish the card, I generated a sentiment in Photoshop Elements.

I do hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 8 April 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 231

The challenge for this fortnight is Easter.

I used a Spellbinders die set for the basis of the card, and covered the panels with papers from Kirstie Alsop. The flowers were made using dies form the Susan's Garden Notes range from Elizabeth Craft, with extra greenery cut using Creative Expressions dies.

The sentiment was generated in Photoshop Elements.

I do hope you can join us!

Sunday, 31 March 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 55

The challenge for this fortnight is Clean and Simple with Blue. Of course, clean and simple is relative. I'm in awe off people who can make really simple cards which just ooze elegance. I really struggle with white space, and my simplest designs just look amateurish to me. So, I compromised.


My original plan was just what you see above, but the white background was supposed to be plain white. I laid it all out and wasn't at all happy.

This morning, the postman delivered a parcel from Crafter's companion that I wasn't expecting for a couple of weeks. (I find it often takes a couple of weeks for them to dispatch, although that might be because I often order during sales!) Anyway, I ordered some A4 stencils to go with the larger gelli-plate I got for Christmas as well as some new colours of gilding wax. I used the handwriting stencil (back to front, as it happens) with some Weathered Wood Distress Ink on the right hand side, and then the fern and crackle stencil. I continued with Distress Ink around the fern itself, then added some beautiful Diamond Imagination Crafts gilding wax. Then, I added a little distress ink around the die cut image (stamp is from Studio Light)  and I was much happier.

I do hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 230

In honour of Mothering Sunday, the challenge for this fortnight is to make something for That Special Someone. Naturally, that doesn't have to be a mother. My own mum would have been 90 today, but died several years ago, so I've made a card for one of the other special people in my life, my husband of (almost) 33 years.

As always for my husband, I've kept things fairly simple. The backing paper and main image feature Tatty Teddy. The image was stamped using a Dovecraft stamp using Memento ink and coloured with Promarkers.

The sentiment comes from a Ching chou kuik stamp plate by Sweet Pea stamps.

I do hope you can join us this time.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 54

The theme for this fortnight's challenge is colour-based: green plus two other colours. So, which colours will you choose to go with the blue?

For this, I used some recently-acquired Card-io Majestix stamps. For my first attempt, I used a rectangular mask which had some gaps in it, and stamped around that. But, that was a mistake, as it really just looked like some random shapes had found their way through the mask. So, second attempt, I cut an oval mask, and stamped away using Memento ink. I added a few lowers and a sentiment both cut with dies from last year's Crafter's Companion Advent calendar which my daughter gave me for my birthday. I matted the result, and was pretty happy with that. But then realised I wanted to do an insert. So, I used the failed first attempt! I scanned it, then added an aperture in Photoshop Elements, mirrored the result and came up with this:


And that's it. Just goes to show you shouldn't throw away mistakes (at least, not straight away ...)

I hope you can join us this time.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Crafty Cardmakers Challenge 229

The challenge for this fortnight is Make it Green.

I decided to have a go at various techniques which are new to me, and while I'm happy with the result, there are things I'll do differently next time.

I started with a die from Eileen Hull/Sixxix: the Travel Journal. Now, this die does give a very tall, narrow journal in its original form, so I followed a tutorial from Eileen on how to make it a bit wider. For me, it's still rather narrow, but it's definitely an improvement on the original. I think the reason for the odd shape is that Eileen always restricts herself to designing for small die cutters, so this die will go through a basic Big Shot. I do wish she's design for bigger machines and give us something that takes standard size paper: A4 or A5. But still. Her suggestion is to cut a back and front as usual, but instead of using the scored edges to form a spine, you cut an extra bit and put the spine scores and holes at both edges, which is what I did here.

Before cutting, I covered some grey board with Kraftex on one side only. Then, I coated the Kraftex and back sides with gesso. This is definitely something I'd do differently. The Kraftex probably doesn't need the gesso, and the grey board absorbed quite a lot so the pieces had a distinct curve which, while not a visual issue (to me) meant that attaching the three pieces was problematic. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

After the gesso, I used a gelli plate to apply distress oxide inks to give an overall greenish shade. (I only have a few of these inks, and none of them is green!) Then, I used stamps and inks (mainly Memento) on the front and back inside and out.



I was playing, so I've used a range of stamps and stamping techniques. The inside uses repeating background stamps from Inkylicious. The front uses a lace rubber stamp for which I have no record of the manufacturer, and the back, stamps from Printable Heaven, I think.

Although its not obvious, I added a piece of lace to the centre of the front. I used Modge Podge for this, and because the inks I used were water based, there was some transfer, so the lace definitely matches the rest!  To finish the front, I added some lacy flowers cut using Tattered Lace dies. I used Coredinations card and gently sanded the pieces before sticking them, again with Modge Podge. I used Modge Podge over everything as a sealer before assembling the pieces.

Here, I found that glue wasn't going to work, at least, not on its own. So, I used the otherwise unused punched holes in the front and back covers and spine to reinforce the structure with thread.


You can just see the thread in this photo.

Because I'm using the die cuts in a way that was not intended, I had to manually punch holes in the spine for attaching pages inside and a further one so I can add an elastic closure when that becomes necessary.
And to give an idea of the inside, I've put a single double-sheet in each of the four elastic holders.

Next time, I'll probably revert to covering the inside of the cover with paper rather than using gesso. That should make it easier to assemble the journal, but I might still use the reinforcement technique!

I hope you can join us this time.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

International Art and Soul Challenge 53

Our challenge for this fortnight is to use sequins and/or beads in your creation. So, it can be a card, clothing, jewellery, whatever you like, so long as it's got some sequins or beads on it.

Years ago, I used to do a lot of cross stitch, and I decided to try a set of cross stitch patterns I had as tree decorations, but to make them a little more robust and sparkly, instead of using embroidery thread, I used a fine thread to attach seed beads to embroidery paper. Those decorations are still in use each year, and last Christmas, I was inspired to try the same technique.

I still had some gold-toned embroidery paper and lots of seed beads, so I attached the beads in a simple Christmas tree pattern in two shades of green with a gold background.

The beads aren't all from the same manufacturer, and some are transparent and some opaque, but I rather liked the overall effect.

To complete, I die cut some gold card using a Spellbinders die, cutting the same shape twice. I attached some gold ribbon to one piece, and then stuck the two together with gold sides facing out. And finally, I attached the beaded panel to the front.
And that's the result. The earlier ones aren't backed at all, since I did those in my pre-papercraft days, so I'm not sure how long this one will last, but I suppose time will tell.

I hope you can join us this time.

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