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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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