Friday, 20 February 2015

Mix & Match the Birdies!

Isn't it great when different craft products in your stash go together, almost as though you had plannned it?
Birdhouse Tall Birs Card Tonic Studios, Spellbinders, Hunkydory
Card Recipe:
Tools: Spellbinders Labels 18 Diet Set , Tonic Studios Birds on a BranchBirdhouse DieLayering Rectangles and Layering CirclesGrand Calibur 
Paper and Card: HunkydoryStardream Pearlescent Card
Embellishments: mulberry flowersMay Arts ribbon
As you will have noticed, I do like a lot of layers on my card!  For this card, I wanted to use a Hunkydory card toppers and cardstock set that I had in my stash, as the pink/purple colours were a favourite of the card recipient. The focal topper came in the set, and although I don't have an exact shape match in my dies, I was unabashed. Spellbinders Labels 18 echoed the shape of the topper and it shows perfectly that you do not need to have an exact match to still create a harmonious arrangement on your card.
I've also mixed and matched patterned cardstock and papers with coordinating plains and pearlescents.
I carried on the theme of the card with my die cut accent - a bird house cut from the same pink stardream card as my card base, mounted onto a pre-embossed strip of Hunkydory Adorable Scorable card.  I then used sprigs from the Birds on a Branch die set to create some final accents, picking up from the embossed foliage pattern on the card stock. These tucked behind the mulberry flower and floral organza ribbon as I often think a card is not finished if it doesn't have flowers and ribbon, I get kind of twitchy if I make a card without them!

Hope you all have a great a weekend and happy crafting!

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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Swirly Whirlies Owl Family Card

I just love owls, so I couldn't resist this wonderful Swirly Whirlies Owl Family stamp, it is just too cute, especially when paired with some lovely First Edition paper and kraft cardstock.
Swirly Whirlies Owl Family & First Edition Spring Feast Card
Card Recipe:
Stamp: Swirly Whirlies Owl Family (Little Claire), Happy Circular Sentiments (LOTV)
Colouring Mediums: Memento Cocoa Ink Pad, Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pad Antique LinenPromarkers
Paper and Card: First Edition Spring Feast, Kraft Card
Tools: Spellbinders Labels 8 Diet Set and Vintage Lace Accents, Tonic Studios Layering Squares and Layering CirclesGrand Calibur 
Embellishments: mulberry flowers, May Arts ribbon
Spellbinders Labels 8 Diet Set Card
I stamped both the main image and the sentiment using a Memento Cocoa Ink Pad, then coloured the main image using muted-coloured promarker pens, picking up the colours from the First Edition patterned backing paper before lightly tinting the background with a dusting of Antique Linen.
You can just see the beautiful embellished May Art ribbon that I used as a trim peaking out behind the stamped image. For a fun little detail, I added an offcut of the trim to the swirly branch. The stamped image and it's Kraft Card mat is cut using Spellbinders Labels 8 Diet Set, a really useful shape for cutting out landscape stamped images.
mulberry paper flowers
As I can't resist adornment, I created a corner cornucopia 0f mulberry paper flowers, mixing a variety of sizes from tiny cornflowers to a statement gardenia along with cherry blossoms, all in colours to coordinate with the First Edition background paper, which came from the Spring Feast collection.
LOTV Happy Birthday stamped Sentiment
Finally, I die cut the LOTV Happy Birthday stamped Sentiment using my ever-handy simple Layering Circles die, combined with the more ornate Spellbinders Vintage Lace Accents, which I think work together really well - but what do you think?

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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Extending Square Dies to Cut Rectangles

Extending Square Dies to Cut Rectangles Step-by-Step Tutorial
This is a useful tutorial on how to get more out of your Square Dies by extending them to cut rectangles.

With this method, you can extend the length or the width, but not both!

At the end of the project, you will find a downloadable PDF of these instructions.

You will need some:
Square dies (eg Tonic Layering Squares)
Die cutting machine (eg Grand Calibur)

Step 1
Measure the outer edge of your square die.  In my example (excuse the slight blurriness of the first photo), my outer edge measures 9.8cm and I know that this cuts a 9.3x9.3cm square.  I know need to cut a piece of card that's length is exactly 9.8cm+the extra length I want to acheive. So if I want a rectangle that is 2cm longer ie 11.3cmx9.3cm, I need to cut a piece of card that is exactly 9.8cm+2cm = 11.8cm.  The width doesn't matter as long as it is a bit wider than the die.
Step 1 Extending Square Dies to Cut Rectangles Step-by-Step
Step 2
Butt the edge of the die to the bottom edge of your piece of card and tape into place.  Place this on the cutting plate so that the other end of the die comes off the end of mat (below left). Cut and then emboss this piece (below middle).  You will now have a piece of card cut along thrtee sides (below right).
Step 2 Extending Square Dies to Cut Rectangles Tutorial
Step 3
Remove the card from the die, and re-allign the die flush to the opposite end of the cardstock. Manoeuvre  the die so that the cut edges slot into place (this can be a little fiddly but you will feel it when it gets seated correctly, and I find it helps if you trim off the outer flaps).  Tape into place, making sure the it is now the end that has already been die cut that is off the edge of the cutting mat.  Cut and emboss again.
Step 3 Extending Square Dies to Cut Rectangles stages

You should now have a perfectly die cut and embossed rectangle.

You can download a pdf of these instructions here.

Please do let me know if you have found this helpful, I love to read your feedback.

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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Buttons Galore!

It's my little niece's first birthday soon and I wanted to share with you a Button Initial Name Picture that I've made for her new bedroom using an inexpensive photoframe and lots of buttons!

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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Pillow Box Owl Step-by-Step Tutorial

This is a step-by-step photo tutorial for how to create a cute pillow box owl using the Tonic Studio Dies.  At the bottom of this blogpost, you will find a downloadable PDF of these instructions.
Step 1 - Die Cut your Cardstock
First of all, you will need the following dies (all by Tonic Studios, shown in picture above left)
  1. smallest layering circle die
  2. smallest layering scallop circle die
  3. second smallest layering circle die
  4. smallest love arches die (the heart)
  5. pillow box die
You will also need the following pieces of card stock:
  1. Brown textured cardstock cut to 9.5cm x 20.5cm, 2 pieces of 3.5cm x 8cm and 2 pieces cut to 3.5cm x 3.5cm
  2. Black textured cardstock cut to 2 pieces of 3cm x 3cm
  3. White textured cardstock cut to 2 pieces of 4cm x 4cm
  4. Watch the Birdy double-sided patterned cardstock cut to 2 pieces of 3cm x 20.3cm
Cut out the following (shown in picture above right)
    A. The complete pillow box die from brown card 
    B. 2 sets of the central eclipse shape from brown card
    C. 2 sets of hearts from brown card
    D. 2 sets of second smallest layering circle die from white card
    E. 2 sets of smallest layering circle die from black card
    F. 6 sets of smallest layering circle from one side of patterned card and 6 sets of smallest              layering scallop circle from other side of patterned card

Step 2 - Trim the Wings, Score the Beak and Shape the "Feathers"

You may be wondering why I made you die-cut two pieces of brown card from the central eclipse section of the pillow box die.  You are going to use these pieces to make the owl wings! Using a pair of scissors, carefully snip around the perforated edge of the eclipse to reveal a perfect wing shape.  For a really professional finish, lightly rub a piece of fine sandpaper around the edge to remove any nibs left behind after trimming.

You are also going to convert one of the brown cardstock hearts into the owl's beak.  To do this, score a T-shape on the back of the heart, running vertically from centre top-to-bottom and then across the heart to form a "T".  Fold the heart along your score lines.

Finally, in terms of preparation:
  • Fold and shape the pillow box die cut, but do not stick together
  • Stick the smaller black circles slightly offset onto the white circles and add the googly eyes
  • Curl the patterned scallop circles by running them over a boning tool
  • Cut 2 of the patterned circles in half, then curl all of the patterned circles with the boning tool

Step 3 - Assemble the Owl

Starting at the bottom of the front of the pillow box shape, apply a small blob of glue to the back of the point of the un-scored heart, and stick this to the middle bottom of the pillow box die cut (as shown above left).  These are the owl's "feet" and help ensure you can stand your owl upright once assembled. Adhere the top edge only of three of the small scalloped patterned circles in a row along the bottom of the front of the pillow box shape (as shown above left).  For even spacing, I find it easiest to place the middle circle first, and then add the other two on either side.  

Next, again working from the middle out, apply the next row, this time with plain-edge circles, and offsetting them from the row below.  This means that you will need two of the half circles, one at each end, to complete the row (as shown above middle).

Repeat another layer of scallop circles.

For the final row, adhere the two full circles into place.  Then glue the beak into place as shown (above left photo).  Finally, glue the wings into place and add the final two half circles to finish the final row of "feathers" (above right photo).
Next, apply glue to the bottom half of the back of the eyes and stick into place.  Set the owl aside for 5-10 mins for the glue to dry and firm up.  Finally, glue the sides of the pillow box together and tuck down the top flaps.  Once dry, stand your owl up and admire your handiwork! 
Please do let me know if this tutorial has been useful, or if you need any clarification on my description or any of the steps.

Here's a PDF version of this Pillow Box Owl Tutorial

Enjoy your dies and happy crafting!

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Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Beginnings

Perhaps one of your New Year's Resolutions to use up more of your crafty stash?  If so, this card may provide some inspiration as it shows what you can achieve with just 2 sheets of card and a small offcut of vellum from your stash when combined with your existing dies and punches.

Card Recipe:
Tools: Tonic Window Die, Tonic Studios Window Box Die,  Tonic Studios Gothic Square Die, Tonic Studios Simplicity Dotty Border Punch, Tonic Studios Butterfly Border Punch, Tonic Studios Corner Rounder, Kushgrip Art Knife, Tonic Craft Tacky Glue, Grand Calibur, 
Paper and Card: Stardream card, opalescent vellum

Many followers of my blog will know I have a bit of an obsession with my domed window die, and this time I've combined it with the coordinating window box die. Unusually for me, I've kept things very clean and simple with just two soft shades of cardstock.

I made the blind from a small offcut of pearly vellum, punched with the Simplicity Dotty Border Punch, and pleated a couple of times, then trimmed to fit the window. 

Although this card is simple to make, just a few added details, which take moments, I think makes all the difference.  In this case, it's been achieved by adding a small scattering of tiny butterflies and flowers (the "waste" from, respectively, the Butterfly Border Punch and Daisy Circle Die, and cut from offcuts of card).
Here's one final look at how I've used dies, punches and old stash to make this week's card....
Happy Crafting!

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Saturday, 27 December 2014

A Poinsettia's For Life, not Just for Christmas - Version 2!

I hope everyone had an excellent Christmas, with lots of crafting goodies?  No doubt, with Christmas over, you're about to put away your Christmas crafty goodies for another year. However, don't be too quick to pack them all away.  I said this last year and I'll say it again, A Poinsettia's For Life, not Just for Christmas!  Look how I've used a PSX Poinsettia Stamp for a Get Well Card, instead of a Christmas Card.
Card Recipe:
Stamp: PSX
Colouring Mediums: Memento London Fog, Promarkers
Paper and Card: Oyster plain card, HOTP, Satin Elegance
Tools: Tonic Studios Indulgence Boudoir Square,Verso Holly Rings, 10mm Corner Rounder, Super Trimmer, Grand Calibur 
Embellishments: lace, double satin ribbon, flatback pearls, crystal button, hand-made hatpins

This card uses a "stamp outside the frame" die-cut technique, as well as decoupage.  I stamped my image twice onto Satin Elegance stamping card with Memento ink, leaving plenty of space around the first image.  I coloured them both in with Promarker pens, fully colouring the first image but on the second only the poinsettias.  I fussy-cut out the poinsettias as a decoupage layer to add dimension to my card.

This is the first time I've used my Indulgence Boudoir Square die to create the lovely trellis mat detail.  I defy anyone to use this die and not be over-whelmed by the urge to add flat-back gems.  As this was a Get Well Soon card, I didn't want it to be too bling-y, so I used some lovely flat-back pearls this time.

My sentiment was computer generated and die cut with a label tag, then washed over with a Fresh Meadow Promarker pen, from the 2012 Special Edition set.

However, a little bit of sparkle always adds some cheer if you're feeling under the weather, and this crystal button sure does add some sparkle.

I've had these little bronze flower beads for ages but this is their first outing, and they work perfectly to tie the hatpins into the colour-scheme of the card.

If you'd like to see the original version of A Poinsettia's for Life, Not Just for Christmas, click here.

Please do leave me a comment, I love to know who's visited this page and what you think! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Christmas Dance

It's the launch of the new theme over on an Oldie but A Goodie Challenge and this fortnight it's Winter, so I thought this Christmas Dance Card in warm winter colours was just the thing!
Card Recipe:
Stamp: LOTV Christmas Dance
Colouring Mediums: Memento London Fog, Promarker Pens
Paper and Card: Neenah White, Christine Adolph
Tools: Spellbinders Labels 18 and Snowflake Dies
Embellishments: double sided adhesive sheets, microbeads, glitter, rhinestone crystals, May Art double-sided stitched ribbon.

I know from the outset that I wanted to create a snowflake wreath as a frame for the main focal image.  I cut a variety of snowflakes from my patterned paper, including some that I had covered with a double-sided adhesive sheet.  Once die cut, I covered some in irridescent glitter and some in microbeads, and I think this combination of plain, beaded and glittered snowflakes adds a lot of texture and interest to the card.

My main image is a LOTV stamp called Christmas Dance.  I'm not a huge fan of "cutsie- children" stamps generally, but I am a fan of having a varied range of images to hand in my crafting stash so have found a place for a select few "cuties", this being one of them.  

I stamped the image with Memento London Fog, which gives a softer image than using black.  I coloured her with Promarkers to echo the colours of my Christine Adolp patterned papers and accented the image with glitter and a festive pom-pom (I do love a festive pom-pom)!

I hope you'll join us at an Oldie but a Goodie Challenge, where you need to use an item from your stash that's over 6 months old. On my card, everything I've used is over 6 months old!

Don't forget, if you haven't already done so, you can enter into my 100th Blogpost Celebratory Prize Draw for the chance to win some great Tonic Studios Prizes -details here

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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

No Dies Required Champagne Christmas Card

I thought I would share with you today a Christmas Card that looks die cut but isn't!  So put away your grand calibure or big shot, all you need is a little PC know-how, your printer, a craft knife and metal ruler!
Card Recipe:
Tools: PC, printer, craft knife, metal ruler
Paper and Card: Stardream Card, printable vellum, acetate 
Embellishments: Flatback crystals, ribbon bow
To make this card, I started by creating a word document on my PC and inserting a triangle basic shape.  I inserted the text I wanted to use, changing the font and font size until I was happy with the fit. I used double line spacing as I knew I wanted to decorate with crystals.  Then I printed out the message onto printable vellum and left it to dry thoroughly.

To make the card, I trimmed out the "champagne glass" by simply cutting out the triangle of text from vellum plus a corresponding smaller triangle for the glass base.  The stem was made from a narrow strip of acetate.

I decorated the printed vellum with rows of sparkling rhinestones before attaching it to the card base.  This gave me an area which I could dot with glue from behind to adhere the vellum to the card without it showing through.

I've kept this very clean and simple, but you could also quickly add some 3D gloss "bubbles" too.  My card is a Christmas card but the concept could easily be adapted for other occassions too.

Just goes to prove that you don't need new dies for a new card idea!  Hope you enjoyed this quick post and that all your Christmas preparations are well in hand.
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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Red Door & White Wreath Christmas Card

Why is it that a Red Front Door is festive, whereas any other colour is just plain wrong?  I understand why post boxes are red, and obviously a robin needs a red breast, and even Rudolph a red nose.  However, I have no idea why a Christmassy door just has to be red, but it does!  Anyhow, I hope you like my festive Red Door and White Wreath Christmas Card.
Card Recipe:
Paper and Card: Centura Pearl White card, Red Linen textured
Tools: Tonic Studios Floral Crafters Tool Kit, Verso Tiara Corner, Domed Window, Window Box, Christmas Cracker and Branches Dies, Grand Calibur 
Embellishments: double satin ribbon, pearl strands, rhinestone crystals, crystal button, handmade hatpins

First of all, I wanted to give you a nice close-up of the new Tonic Studios Verso Tiara Corner Dies. These dies have a separate outer cutting edge, meaning you can choose whether to cut out the entire corner as a die cut, or create a laser-cut finish into the cardstock (which is what I've done).  Hope you can pick up the lovely embossed detail too.

Now, I think it's important to be able to use your dies in lots of different ways, without your cards looking the same.  Dies are an investment so it's important to get lots of use from them.  This festive Christmas card was created from a variety of dies but only the sentiment was actually a Christmas die!
I made my Christmas Wreath by using die cuts from my Window Box and Branch Dies. As I wanted quite a compact wreath, I cut some of the sprigs in half.  I used eight of each design and shaped the sprigs with my new Floral Crafters Tool Kit to create dimension and depth.

It's been a while, but my beloved hatpins have made a return, along with a bling-tastic rhinestone button.  I've combined this with a cheery red ribbon and ribbon bow.  Speaking of ribbon, that's the theme for this fortnight's challenge over at an Oldie But A Goodie, or you could use Lace or even combine Ribbon and Lace!  Ribbons and lace are staple items in my craft stash, so I never have a problem finding an item to use over 6 months old when the theme is this fortnight's challenge.  If you have lots of stash to use up, why not pop over to the challenge and join in the fun.
Here's one final look at my card, can you guess that I used my domed window die to create the door?  I will be posting a tutorial on how to do this in the near future.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:
Crafty Calender - All Things Christmas
Paper Crafting Journey - Bling it Up
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