Sunday, January 31, 2010

Old Skool Stash Blog Hop

Reveal day has arrived. Lovely Kate at Liberty Cottage organised a fun blog hop, for scrappers or cardmakers, and we were challenged to use old stash purchased before 2007. Well, seeing as I've been off the cardmaking scene for a couple of years and only started again in December (just in time for Christmas) then virtually everything I have fits into this category.

I had a lot of fun going through what seems like an enormous amount of stash which had been abandoned in my cupboard for so long. I rediscovered stamps, papers, ribbons, eyelets, stencils, lace templates, decoupage papers, a couple of Glitter Girls embossing boards, boxes of card blanks plus lots of card, vellum, peel-off stickers, etc.

Here is what I eventually decided to do:

A 5" x 7" card blank has been covered with a sheet of paper from a writing pad bought on a holiday in 2006, bought with card making rather than letter writing in mind. The Penny Black stamp I've probably had for about five years and the sentiment stamp was bought at the same time as I thought it went perfectly with it. The check backing paper behind the stamp is from a 12" x 12" book of scrapbook papers I bought from the QVC outlet shop and the purple card for the mat from a card stock pack I bought from QVC again about five years ago. The ribbon and lace were bought locally when I made my first Bookatrix baby congrats card in 2006.

Next up is

and here is everyone who joined in

Happy blog hopping!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A couple of new cards

I haven't been able to do much cardmaking for one reason or another the last few days but on Monday I needed to send a condolence card to some dear friends, his father had died aged 101. Knowing I had a couple of white cards from when I was experimenting with the partial embossing, I used one of these and kept it plain and simple with just a touch of black and no verse as I didn't know the father. Condolence cards are always difficult but I think this does the job.

My friend Angie came for a visit yesterday and brought with her a set of these Pepper and Friends 8" x 8" papers she'd bought on a recent trip away. There are some really pretty papers, some glittered, and she kindly gave me one of each (12 altogether) and said that I should make a card from them for when I next see her.

This is what I came up with. I used one of the scrapbook pages (I think that's what they are) to cover a square card, the one with the bird table but I didn't use that bit, I just wanted the butterflies. I cut the cat image from the centre of the multi-image page and mounted it onto a mat cut from pearlescent card with one of the Nellie Snellen dies. Prima flowers with brads for centres and some card candy finished it off. Maybe it's a bit plain, I'm not sure, but I like it. Perhaps some card candy in the bottom right corner? I think I'll see if I can find a matching butterfly so that I can 3D one of them.

Cutting the image out of the centre of the page like that doesn't leave much of a margin around the other images, I'll have to give some thought to how I will cut around them when I come to use them.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Nellie's Multiframe Dies

Ooooooh....... jumps up and down with excitement........... I did it!

I've spent the last two days playing with my birthday present from daughter Deborah, two sets of Nellie Snellen Multiframe Dies. I was a bit stumped to start with and needed to ask lots of questions, I was terrified of breaking my Cuttlebug and even managed to turn my B plate into something resembling a banana, but I got there in the end.

Of course, my dies didn't have the foam all over them that is shown on Nellie's site so that started off the confusion. There was foam in the little decorative cut out bits so I needed to find out if those needed to be removed - the answer is No! So after trying to use them all joined together (OK, probably would never use them like this but I'm a very curious person so I needed to try it), I eventually conceded defeat and cut the layers apart with my craft knife. That made all the difference, and after working out the sandwich I'm glad to say I eventually succeeded in getting the dies to cut through pearlescent card.

This is some of what I've done today. I still have to play around and try making some of the larger rectangular frames. I can also see whether my circle Nesties can be combined in any way, hopefully they're the right size to layer up with the Nellies.

So while I was having some "me" time I finished off grandson Jack's card which has been half finished for a week, I was waiting for the little label that's part of the Nellie's rectangular frame set. My scans always show things lighter than they are in real life and this one shows a little wobble with the ribbon - oh well, pobody's nerfect!!!!!!! All the papers were printed from the free CD rom that came with the current copy of Creativity magazine.

Now I've got this one out of the way I can concentrate on a special card for Deborah's 40th, it's a good job I've got a month to do it as I think it will take a while!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

First attempt at Ikki's partial embossing technique

Today I've had another attempt at Ikki's partial embossing technique using the Cuttlebug Stylized Flower folder. I don't have any other folders suitable for this technique so I followed her tutorial and finished my card with a couple of Nesties circles. Hopefully she wont mind me showing my version on here.

I made two MFPs (modifying folder pads) following Ikki's instructions. Now I've used this smaller one a few times I think the layers of card have got a bit squashed so the embossing is not quite as deep as it should be so doesn't show up all that well on the photo. I'll add another layer of card tomorrow to see if it gives deeper embossing without breaking the Cuttlebug! I think I made a mistake in using some card from a box, thinking it was thin enough but not realising that it had a layer of corrugated stuff in the middle which has probably got squashed a bit in the embossing process. Lesson learned for any future MFPs!

I've used an A6 smooth card here rather than a textured card. While I was playing with different textures of card I think this one gave the best impression, no wonder my MFP is a bit squashed with all the playing I did! This card uses the embossing folder with the smaller of the two MFPs, turning the folder 90 degrees for the top impression. As it didn't seem possible to get the impression to emboss right on the bottom edge of the card I've finished it off with two score lines.

While trimming the layers of card I managed to slice into my finger with my craft knife, and of course I'd put a new blade in today hadn't I?!!!! So rather than get blood all over everything I decided to leave it for today. Tomorrow I shall try using the larger of the MFPs. This is the second attempt at photographing this card, the original one taken in electric light with flash wasn't particularly good so this one was taken in daylight and shows the embossing much better.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I can take photos again!

It's only been a few days since we sent for a replacement camera for the one I dropped (oops!) but it seems ages since I've been able to take a photograph. Well actually, I'm letting Paul do that at the moment. For a start he takes better photos than me, and I don't want to break another one, let him do it!!!!!!!

So this is a card I made a few days ago.

I've used a 5" X 7" raspberry pearlescent card blank and the scalloped circles are the same. The mat is Core'dinations Whitewash which has been embossed partly with Swiss Dots and partly with Stylized Flower and sanded, wrapped with some pink satin ribon with a sort of bow, just a knot really, plus some other pink ribbon with spots. The stamp is actually a Forever Friends Christmas one but by using different colours is suitable for other occasions I think. Two sizes of circles/scalloped circles cut with my Nesties.

I can't remember where I discovered how to do this embossing with two folders on one piece of card, I look at so many sites to try and learn more and challenge myself. If it was Ikki's then I'm blowed if I can find it again, but she is so clever and comes up with some fantastic ideas that it's a blog I'll be visiting regularly. You can see Ikki's work here. I'm already working on her partial embossing by making an MFP (modifying folder pad) and hope to crack it completely over the weekend. I haven't had a lot of time to play this last couple of days, I made a start earlier in the week and will get back to it then hopefully post a picture of the card I make.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Senior moment and a naughty card!

Well, that's my excuse! Over at MSE someone asked about instructions for tea bag cards. Well, seeing as I'd gone through a tea bag folding phase a few years ago I sprung to action posting links to sites with tutorials for making tea bag medallions and also for printing off tea bag tiles. It wasn't until another forum member posted that the penny dropped. Not tea bag folding but a card to hold a tea bag!

Is tea bag folding still popular? I've no idea, haven't seen any for ages. So off I went to my photo file to find a picture of a card with an example of tea bag folding, I did quite a few so surely I had a picture somewhere. No - can't find one, that's strange. So for anyone who has never heard of it and is wondering what I'm on about, these are tea bag cards, as in tea bag medallion. They're not cards that I made, they're from the gallery on Ruby's site.

These particular examples aren't from the CDs I bought but there are loads more that can be seen in Ruby's card gallery here (Ruby produces the CDs).

Right, stop wittering Susan and get to the next bit.

So, as I was searching through all my cards I came across this one:

A bit plain but this was done a few years ago before background papers became so popular. It's a freebie decoupage that I downloaded. When I used to sell cards (when we had the restaurant there were always some on show and I'd sell quite a few) this one was particularly popular for young, and not so young, ladies to give to their female friends. I think it's a hoot!

Enough of the old stuff, the new camera's arrived, Paul's had a play and is getting on OK with it. I'll try taking a photo of my latest creation tomorrow but I'll make sure I use the wrist strap from now on, we really can't be doing with another expensive accident!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sample of decoupage for Jazabelle

Jazabelle over at MSE wanted to know about decoupage and foam pads. I've tried to explain, very badly I think, about silicone glue being able to give an image movement and shape. Hopefully you can see what I mean on this card (click to enlarge and it should show up better) which I must have done about four years ago. I haven't done any decoupage for a long time, there's a lot of die-cut decoupage available now which wasn't about the last time I did any. Perhaps I should try the die cut version, I'll put it on my shopping list for next time I am out and about as I only want to try one sheet not a pack with too many sheets in.

The leaves at the bottom and the flower petals have been curved slightly (I use a pencil to gently roll the pieces over) and the bottom of the leaves stuck with a very small amount of silicone, almost flat with the image underneath. Then a bit further up the stem a bit more silicone to give it height so it stands away from the stem as it would do in real life. Same with the petals, look at the middle parts of the flowers which have a lot less silicone than the middle parts of the petals. By putting more silicone under the middle of the petals this lifts them up a bit from the image underneath, and because the edges have been shaped they come down again a bit as a real flower would. Foam pads will do the job well enough but silicone will give more movement and a more natural look to the image. There are now different depths of foam pads available so by varying the pads used it's possible you could get a similar effect to silicone. Again, when I was doing decoupage only one depth of pad was available.

Hope you can follow that, it's so much easier to show someone how to do it rather than talk them through it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back to basics or K.I.S.S.

K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple, Susan.

As we have no camera at the moment (new one ordered today so hopefully it wont be long before I can take pictures again) any card I want to add to my blog must scan successfully. A lot of my cards have something on them which is raised by foam pads so the scanner lid doesn't close properly over them and lets in too much light to get a good scan. So I thought what can I make that will produce a decent scan picture?

So back to basics came to mind and I thought back to what my cards were like when I first started card making - fairly plain and simple, and flat! Styles have progressed, and I'm catching up, but I wanted to make something without embellishments, flowers or anything 3D which would prevent the card being scanned. I also wanted to use coloured card stock, of which I have absolutely loads (mainly pearlescent) but rarely use at the moment as I seem to be using a lot of pretty papers. Then again, I also wanted to include something up to date so I used my Cuttlebug and Nesties too.

This is what I came up with:

Unusually for me at the moment this is an A6 size card (from a pack of pre-scored cards and envelopes bought from one of the shopping channels a few years ago). I've embossed the top part with the Cuttlebug Daisy Pattern and scored two lines underneath, and the bottom part is Swiss Dots with two score lines above. Between the score lines is some spotty ribbon. The little cat was stamped with Stazon on some plain white card and matted onto some dark purple thin mirri card. I have some foam pads that are only 1mm depth so the oval is barely raised. The scanner lid didn't quite go back down flat but it seems to have scanned well enough.

I managed to achieve what I set out to do - make something basic and simple with a bit of an up to date twist and I'm quite happy with the result.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Using old stash

Jamtart set a challenge to use up old stash, everyone to reveal their cards on 1 February so I can't put that card on yet. However, it did get me thinking ........... I have a cupboard full of stuff collected over the years that I've done nothing with. I have a box full of bits that have been removed from shop bought cards sent to us over the years, some of them are embellishments but a lot of them are images that can make decent toppers. Most of these were collected when I was fairly new to card making. So I set myself a challenge to try making a half decent card with something from this box.

I have a lot to choose from in this box so my first task was to decide who the card would be for. Paul's mom is very traditional, modern or cute doesn't sit well with her at all, so I found something suitable but didn't want it to be too "old hat", I feel I have progressed with my card making so I wanted to incorporate a more modern style. This is what I came up with:

This is a 5" x 7" white card and the green mat is Core'dinations Whitewash card embossed with Swiss Dots and sanded. Plain white card, again embossed with Swiss Dots, matted across the middle and then green satin ribbon in the middle of that. The flower image is what was salvaged from an old greetings card. Three paper flowers fixed with brads and Nesties circles for the greeting. This can either be for Mother's Day or her birthday.

Maybe I wasn't in a very creative headspace when I made this one but I don't think I like this card much, although it does look a bit better in the flesh (rubbish photo as usual by me!). Also it will suit Vera down to the ground (and she throws them away), and it shows that sometimes recycling can work (I think!).

This is my last blog entry, or at least photograph, for a while as today has seen the end of a week where things go wrong. I've had the front USB ports on the computer give up and after initially panicking that it was a problem with the external hard drive, where most of my stuff is stored, it's now sorted and we're using the rear ports albeit they're hard to reach. And what did I do this morning? Dropped the flipping camera just after I'd taken this photo - oops! It landed on the lens which is now permanently stuck in the open position. The motor is trying hard to retract it but no joy. Thankfully I was able to download the last few photographs but phone calls to three photographic shops confirm what we thought, a repair is uneconomical so it looks like a new camera .... cue Paul doing a bit of research as he knows more about cameras than me, I just point and shoot and take rubbish pictures!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pretty in Pink

This card is for Tracy's (d-i-l) birthday later this month. I've had this set of stamps since before Christmas and not used it yet so decided that today was the day. It's from the Pumpkin & Aubergine Cupcake Delight set. It's scanned very light so not particularly clear what's been used but if you click on the picture to enlarge it the colour shows up a bit better.

I've covered the front of a square white card with some diagonally checked pink/white paper. A length of white lace is down the left hand side with some pink satin ribbon on top. I've used my Nesties to cut the circles, the back one is Core'dinations Gemstones cardstock embossed with Swiss Dots and the front one is just white hammered card stamped and the image coloured with water colour pencils. I've chalked the edges of the circle light pink. The cat is actually dark and light grey, the box pink and I've made the ribbon on the box spotty by dotting with the thin end of a red Brush Strokes pen. I got the spotty ribbon idea from the packaging! The flower is from a Papermania pack, it's white which I've chalked with a bit of light pink, and fixed with a pink brad.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Birthday card for Mom

So, having all my new toys and plenty of time over the holiday period, I've been playing with my Cuttlebug and trying out my new Nesties. It's Mom's 86th birthday in three days time and although she doesn't keep any of the cards I create for her I hope she appreciates what has gone into them. This card is loosely based on the sketch for the MSE challenge and I think it's quite pretty. I don't think the proportions are right, and I prefer square cards at the moment, but as I've got quite a few more cards to make in the next few weeks I'll be able to experiment.

This is a 5" x 7" card and I've used a Penny Black stamp which I've had for quite a few years. The mats are Core'dinations Gemstones card and I've used the Swiss Dots and Divine Swirl embossing folders. The spotty paper I've had hanging around for a very long time and the ribbon came off something I don't remember and got stashed away! I'm still practising with watercolouring and probably have a long way to go yet!