Friday 30 August 2013

Dressed in Roses and Butterflies

Embossing is the theme for this fortnight's challenge over at an Oldie But A Goodie Challenge, and we're sponsored by Rick St Dennis.  There's some fabulous inspiration by the Design Team, so have a good rifle through all your old stash (you need to use at least one element that is over 6 months old on this challenge and, if you mention it in your post, you could win a fab prize by Rick St Dennis) and come and join in! I've used both hot and dry embossing techniques on this Dressed In Roses & Butterflies card for a teenage girl.

Card Recipe:
Stamp: Hampton Art Stamps Dressed in Roses
Colouring Mediums: Promarker Pens, ColorBox Cat's Eye Fluid Chalk Ink, Versamark, Encore Ultimate Metallic Ink Purple, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist
Paper & Card: Bo Bunny, Pearlescent, Stardream, Elegance Satin
Tools: Tonic Studios - Gothic Die Set - Butterfly Border Punch - Maria Butterfly Die, Grand Calibur, Embossalicious Flower Power Embossing Folder, Heat Gun, Cameo Silhouette
Embellishments: Bo Bunny ribbon, crystals, mulberry flowers, glitter, clear embossing powder

Again, quite a lot of detail on this card.  For example, I've used heat embossing and dry embossing and a combination of both.

To start with, I stamped the Dressed in Roses stamp on stamping card and a mat for of patterned Bo Bunny paper using Encore Ultimate Metallic Ink in purple.  This is such a lush and vibrant ink pad, but to allow me to colour over with ProMarkers, I used clear embossing powder over the stamped image and then heat set it.  A quick spritz of Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist provided a pretty sheen to the final image.

I trimmed the background mat to size then ran it through an 8x8 Embossalicious Flower Power Embossing Folder.  To enhance the dry embossing against the busy pattern, I rubbed over the raised embossed pattern with a versmark ink pad and applied clear embossing powder before heat setting.  This gives a really textured finish to the background.  

You can see on this picture where I've scattered tiny glittered butterflies as accents all over the card.  This is actually the "waste" from my Butterfly Border punch (although I punched this from offcuts of glittered stardream card just for this project).

To keep with the Butterfly theme (what teenage girl doesn't like both Butterflies and Dresses?), I die cut a butterfly and flower image using the Tonic Studio's Maria Butterfly Beautiful Die, which I then accented with glitter and more scattered, tiny butterflies.

The sentiment was computer generated and then die cut with my Gothic Square Die Set. I created my cardstock mats for these by scanning the die-cut shapes into my Cameo Silhouette, then traced them and offset them.  It's so easy to create perfectly sized mats this way.
Here's one more look at this summary teenage birthday card.

The "oldies" I've used on my card include my stamp, design papers, cardstock, ink, pens, embossing powders, glitter and ribbon.  However, in order to join in the challenge of an Oldie But A Goodie all you need to do is use one item from your stash that's over 6 months old. Hope to see you over at the challenge.

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Saturday 24 August 2013

Watch the Birdy

Hello, this week's card uses the gorgeous Watch the Birdy range of stamps, dies and paper from Tonic Studios.  I love it when I can get stamps to co-ordinate with a die range, as I really enjoy using both types of crafting.

Card Recipe:
Stamp: Tonic Studios Birds on a  Branch (Set 2)
Colouring Mediums: Encore Metallic, Versamark, Promarker Pens, embossing powder
Paper & Card: Birds on a Branch 8” Paper Pack, Glitter Card, Elegance Satin
Tools: Tonic Studios: Birds on a Branch Bird Cage Die; Elegant Vine Oval, Window Basket Die, Grand Calibur
Embellishments: May Arts Ribbon, pearls, crystals, mulberry flowers

My main image is from Tonic Studios Birds on a  Branch (Set 2) Stamp, stamped with Encore Metallic Purple Ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder, then coloured with Promarkers.

I then used the co-ordinating Bird Cage Die, which I cut from glitter card stock.

I'm getting a bit obsessed with heat embossing at the moment, so I used Versmark ink and clear embossing powder over the Elegant Vine scroll background, to give it a lovely glossy finish and texture.  I also heat-embossed the decoupaged bird cage and the printed branch at the top of the patterned paper.

I made the little pearl charms using head pins and glass beads.  Here's one last look.

Have a great Bank Holiday weekend

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Tuesday 13 August 2013

Anna Griffin Hanoka Koi Card

Hello all, I'm a little bit late in posting my design team piece for an Oldie But A Goodie Challenge as last week I had to post sneak peeks of the new Tonic Christmas Dies, but hey ho, better late than never, and I did have my card ready in time to be posted onto the Oldie But A Goodie Blog.  The latest challenge is Boys/Male Cards and runs until Monday 19th August. So dust out your old stash (you need to use at least one thing on your project that is over 6 months old - one of the reasons I absolutely love this challenge blog).

Card Recipe:
Focal Image: Anna Griffin Hanoka Die Cuts
Colouring Mediums: Promarker Pens
Paper & Card: Anna Griffin, Stardream
Tools: Martha Stewart Punch Around the Page, Spellbinders, Grand Calibur, corner rounder
Embellishments: double satin ribbon, Chinese charms, brad

To make this card, I used a Martha Stewart punch around the page kit to cut the base in black stardream card.  I thought that the cane-style pattern went perfectly with the Chinese-themed Anna Griffin Hanoka papers and die cuts.  I also punched out some long strips of stone coloured pearlescent cardstock, which I used to edge the larger spellbinders Labels 1  mat.  To make these straight strips curve around the corners, I just snipped into them with scissors.

I made the lucky coin charms by attaching double satin ribbon to some coin charms that I had in my stash, and used a jump ring to make the fish charm which I then attached with a brad.

I made this card for my Uncle's 75th birthday, he keeps Koi Carp, so this Hanoka range by Anna Griffin was perfect for his card.  And as everything used on this card was from my stash and over 6 months old, it was perfect for an Oldie But A Goodie Challenge - Boys/Male card.
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Extending the Tonic Studios Christmas Cracker Die

When Tonic Studios launched their Christmas Cracker Dies, I had several questions on whether it was possible to make the crackers slightly bigger, so I've photographed a step-by-step tutorial on how I've extended the die to make a longer cracker.  First here's the finished project, which also uses the Christmas Star Box Die.

So how did I extend the die?  Well, it involves letting the part of the die that you don't want to cut hang off the end of the cutting mat.  So first of all, I line up the die at the base of a sheet of A4 cardstock, positioned with low tack tape and then placed onto the cutting mat so that the top third of the die hangs off the edge of the mat.  As you can see, I've used a Grand Calibur but you can also do this with a Big Shot machine, you would just need to trim the card width before starting.  As a picture paints a thousand words, take a look at the photos I've taken of this stage below.

Once you've run through the die cutter, you then need to position the die again for a second cut.  Move the cut cardstock up and off the edge of the cutting mat and align the die over the centre section.  Tape in place to make sure that the die doesn't move.  

Again, the pictures to the left should make it clearer as to how I did this.

If you want a really long cracker, at this second step, you'd actually move the die right to the bottom card, making sure that you keep the edges lined up.  You would then need to use your craft knife to cut out the middle section.

So here you can see, by doing this, I've created twice the width of the middle section compared to a standard cut.

I then assembled the cracker in the normal way.

Here's one last look at how I decorated the finished cracker.  Pop over to my blogpost Vintage Lace Christmas Cracker Place Setting, to see how I did this decoration.

You can also download a PDF of this Extending the Tonic Studios Christmas Cracker Die Tutorial.

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Thursday 8 August 2013

Tonic Studio Christmas Star Box Tutorial & Fancy Folded Star

I love using the Tonic Studio's Christmas Star Box Die, both as it was originally intended to make a 3D box, but also as a 2D embellishment on cards and other projects.  When you first get your die, it can be a bit tricky working out the best way to assemble it, so I've put together a step-by-step picture guide, to help if you are struggling.  At the end of this tutorial, you'll find a pdf to download.

Step 1 - start by cutting 2 shapes using the die.  I've used single-sided pearlescent card as it makes it easier to see which sides you need to glue together.  Using a bone folder, crisply fold and score along each of the perforated lines.

Step 2 - I would always recommend using wet glue for assembling boxes, and I've used the excellent Tonic Craft Tacky Glue for this project.  Apply a thin layer of glue to the back of one of the top tabs, then stick to two tabs together. Wait a few seconds for the glue to grab and hold.  Apply a small amount of glue to the first outermost tab, tuck it into the box and press together.

Step 3 - It doesn't matter whether you first started working anti-clockwise or clockwise, but whichever you choose, you will now carry on working in that direction all the way round the box until you reach the top again around the other side.  Keep glueing and tucking in each to the outermost tabs.  You may need to hold the two sides together for a few seconds for the glue to grab hold.  When you reach the last tab, partially tuck it in before applying the glue (this will stop you getting into a sticky mess) then again, hold the glued sides together for a few seconds.

This is what your completed Christmas Star Box will look like when it is assembled.

For ideas on how to decorate these boxes, have a look at my post Tonic Studios Star Box and Christmas Cracker Dies for more information.

The above shows how to use the die as intended as a 3D Box, however, I've also used it several times to make 2D folded star shapes to use as toppers on cards, such as this Christmas Star Wreath Card.  

To make a star topper, start as previously with a die cut shape from the Christmas Star Box Die.  I've used pearlescent card again as it shows the scoring so well, but for a card topper, you can use a patterned paper instead of cardstock, in fact, I think a good quality designer paper works better than cardstock.

Step 1 - using a metal ruler and a craft knife, align the ruler edger against the perforated edge of the first side-tab on the die cut and cut through it to remove the side-tab leaving the star point cleanly cut (but don't start with the star point at the top of the die cut with the additional round tab).

Step 2 - Carry on around the star, cutting away the side-tabs.  When you reach the star point that also has the round tab, you are going to need to cut both sides of that star point, to remove the round tab and leave a perfectly shaped star point.  You can see in the first picture below the two cuts you need to make, I've marked them in pencil for the purposes of this step-by-step guide.  The last picture shows what the die cut looks like when you've fully trimmed it.

Step 3 - Using a Scoreboard and a scoring tool, you will need to score all the way through the each point of the star from top to bottom.  Again, I've marked the score line in pencil in the first picture to demonstrate where the score needs to be.  Repeat for each of the five points, then use a bone folder to crisply crease each scored line.

Step 4 - Once you've completed this folding a scoring, your star will already start to take on dimension.  Finish off by pinching together adjoining star points (this will help create the valley folds on the shorter scored lines).  Once you have done this for each point, you will have a fully dimensional star topper.

I like to decorate my star shapes with a glitter edge and maybe, top off with a button or other adornment.
And here's a PDF of this Tonic Studio Christmas Star Box Tutorial and Fancy Folded Star, please do use this tutorial to create your own projects but please also credit this blogpost if you then blog them.

Hope this step-by-step guide has been of use, please do leave a comment if it has so I know I'm not just speaking to myself!

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Tuesday 6 August 2013

Sneak Peek - Tonic Studios Elegant Vine Square & Bauble Tag Die

HoHoHo - would you like to see what Santa's delivered early to Tonic Studios Towers? It's their new Elegant Vine Square Die Set which I've used with Bauble Tag Die, combined with the Antique Frame Tag Die.  

Card Recipe:
Stamps: Joanna Sheen House Mouse, Kanban
Colouring Mediums: Promarker Pens, VersaMark, Encore Metallic Ink Pad, Peebles Inc Chalks
Paper & Card: Stardream, HOTP, Mirror, Glitter
Tools: Tonic Studios Elegant Vine Square Die Se, Bauble Tag Die, Antique Frame Tag Die,  Grand Calibur
Embellishments: Sheer Ribbon, Crystal Button, Jingle Bell,  crystal beads, pearls, pins, brads, eyelet

As I've admitted previously, I'm not really a Clean & Simple (CAS) card-maker, I really enjoy using lots of different techniques and effects on my cards, and this one includes the following (can you spot them all?): 

Paper piecing ● Ribbon threading ● Stitching ● Dry Embossing ● Stamping (digital and traditional)  Manual Die Cutting ●  Eyelet Setting ●  Masking ●  Accenting ●  Decoupage ●  and (of course) Hat Pin Making!

So let's have a closer look at some of these.  To create the focal point, I used a Joanna Sheen Digi-stamp which I resized to fit onto my tag.  I printed the image out three times, twice onto Elegance Satin stamping card and once onto a small piece of patterned HOTP paper. I coloured the image in with Promarker pens, decoupaged the mouse, then cut out and paper-pieced the ribbon from the patterned paper.  Then, I masked the image, chalked the tag with shimmery Peebles Inc chalks and rubber stamped small snowflakes all over the background using the gorgeously rich Encore Metallic ink pad in purple.  Finally, I printed the Merry Christmas sentiment onto an offcut of stardream card, with I die cut using the tag element from Antique Frame Tag die set.  The tag has been mounted onto the new Tonic Studios Elegant Vine Square, and I used a craft knife to cut into each side of the tag so that I could thread my sheer ribbon through it.

Do you like my bling-tastic ribbon embellishment charm? I've had some glittery Jingle Bells in my stash for ages, and I attached one to the crystal button using jump rings before stitching it to the ribbon bow.  I made the hatpins myself and if you'd like to have a go, take a look at my Tutorial on More Decorative Hatpins.

I love to know who's visited my blog, so why not leave a comment and tell me what you think of this card, it would be much appreciated!

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Monday 5 August 2013

Sneak Peek - Tonic Studios Antique Frame Gift Tag Die Set

Wowsers,  would you like a sneak peek of the launch of Tonic Studio's fabulous new Gift Tag Dies?  They are gorgeous and I've been lucky enough to have a little play ahead of time! Although I'm sure that you will be using these lovely dies on all your Christmas projects, as we're still in the midst of a glorious heatwave, I just had to use them on a very summary card.

Card Recipe:
Tools: Tonic Studios Antique Frame Gift Tag Die, Label Die, Gothic Border Punch
Stamp: Joanna Sheen Digi Stamp
Colouring Mediums: Promarker Pens, Chalks
Paper & Card: DCWV, Pearlescent, Elegance Satin
Embellishments: brads, crystal bead, homemade cocktail umbrella, grosgrain ribbon

The main focal point is a House Mouse digi-stamp from Joanna Sheen - those mices  little faces are just too sweet (even though the lemon appears to be a bit too sour for their tastes)!  These have been coloured-in with ProMarkers.  Today's been so hot, I wish I was having such a refreshing dip, it looks just the ticket!

Take a closer look at the new Tonic Studios Antique Frame Gift Tag Die which comes complete with a mini layering die.  I used that mini die to cut out the fun, computer generated sentiment, and pearl card to cut and emboss the frame.  

This is using the die as it was designed, however.........................

I can never just leave it at that (I don't really do clean and simple crafting, lol) so here's the same Antiques Frame Gift Tag Die, but this time I cut 2 sets from pearl card and cut one in half vertically and one in half horizontally. I then used these halves as a perfect fit to frame my label die-cut for my focal image.

To make the cute little parasol embellishment, I cut out a small circle of complementary patterned paper, which I then folded in half and then quarters, using a bone folder to create crisp creases.  I opened the circle back up, and folded into quarters again but this time between the existing score lines.  Opening up flat again, I then cut out a small segment, before glueing the ends together, I popped a cocktail stick through the centre and concertina-folded into a brolly shape before topping with a tiny bicone bead.  

Hope you all have a great weekend, and watch out for further sneak peeks coming very soon (the next one will be much more festive, Ho Ho Ho)

I'm entering this card into the following challenges:
Anything Goes - Coffee Break/Food
Bunny Zoe's Crafts - Pink & White
Crafts & Me - Anything Goes
Crafty Calender - Anything Goes
Country View Crafts - Quotations & Sayings
Cute Card Thursday - Anything Goes
Divas by Design - Favourite Colours
Dream Valley - Summer Days
Paper Crafting Journey - Punches and/or Die Cuts
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