Sunday, 8 December 2013

Mixed Media Birthday Card

I've just made a birthday card for my sister and thought I'd share it with you all. You can tell her age from the front so I won't make it even more obvious and write it here!

Happy Birthday Sandie - hope you have a lovely day!!

She's a gardener by trade - one of those amazing people who know the latin names for plants and how to prune things properly, graft cuttings etc. I wanted to make something which would appeal to her love of plants and trees. I decided to go for the trees as I recently picked up a few beautiful, fallen leaves meaning to do something with them and then just watched them curling up on my desk! Luckily, they weren't too brittle so I set to and designed the following card and gift card/cheque holder. During the making I did lose one leaf tip but I hope that doesn't detract too much from the finished piece.

Birthday card featuring real leaves - inside and out.
Gift card / cheque holder again featuring a real leaf. A circle punch is used to cut away a section of the top to allow access to the contents.
Die cut numbers from scrap card. Paint with two coats of DecoArt gesso in preparation for painting.
Beautiful autumn leaves 

Leaves coloured with DecoArt Traditions paints using a brayer.
Using the same paint colours as the previous step, paint die cut letters.
For the card front, a base was made using a combination of  distress stains and inks. A little water spritzing adds interest to the background.
To complete the background, some Tim Holtz stamps were used in a random fashion. 
The die cut letters were crackled with DecoArt Perfect Crackle followed by a coat of DecoArt Triple Thick glaze. Also in this image, you can see a fabric leaf. These were made by stamping onto TAP paper and transferring the image to fabric. Each leaf was then carefully cut out and edged with some distress ink.
Machine stitching in an appropriate colour finishes the edges of the card front. You can also see the DecoArt Metallic Lustre which I added to the leaf to enrich the colours against the background.

For the inside of the card I made a liner using kraft paper. Two sides of this were stamped with suitable images and detail was added with distress ink and a water brush.

The inside stamping was allowed to overlap onto the leaf - this was done using Stazon ink.

A second liner was made for the inside using calligraphy paper. 

The calligraphy paper was also stamped in white to give a watermark effect and extra interest. The sentiment was stamped and powder embossed, applied to card then cut out.
All the card layers are held together with tied twine. Wooden beads are tied to the ends of the twine to finish the look.
The card/cheque holder is made from two pieces of white card. Each piece was stamped with a woodgrain image and archival ink followed by a toning shade of distress ink.
The two layers of card are stitched together to match the card front. Another dried leaf is used to decorate the front but it has been left in a natural state.
Some dried twigs, twine and curled rusty wire are arranged to decorate the leaf and tied in place with the twine. Wooden beads are used again to finish the ends of the twine.
As I write this post, the card and gift card holder are on their way to my sister. I won't post until she has received her card but I do hope she likes it!

I enjoyed dusting off my distress inks and having a play with them. It seems ages since I did that and I'd forgotten how much fun they can be. Combine that with my favourite paints and crackle medium and I'm a very happy bunny! Thanks for visiting and I look forward to catching up with you soon.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Two Posts For The Price Of One Today: Anything But A Card. . . . . . Anything Goes!

Hello everyone, at long last I'm back to normal service after the move, unpacking and being too busy to pick up a stamp or paintbrush!

I have two posts for you today so a good way to make my return, I hope!

For my second post, we're off to Anything But A Card for their new challenge which has an open theme this month. The theme and make you choose is completely up to you.  However, if you'd like to start on your Christmas/Holidays crafting, we'd love to see your seasonal creations! You can make absolutely anything you like (except a card) and there's plenty of wonderful inspiration over on the blog from my teamies so why not pop over and have a look by clicking here.

I decided to make a Christmas garland which could be used to decorate one of the fireplaces in my new house - so much fun to be had for me this year! If I can find the time. . . . . . .

Here's how I made my garland - I should warn you that this post is picture heavy:
A rustic style garland with some small fairy lights ready to decorate a fireplace at Christmas.

Here's how I made the garland:

I used a plywood bauble shape and decorated both sides. The first job was to cut some scraps of embossed card and use them to create a patchwork effect on the wooden blank. The centre piece is left plain so that I can either stamp or decorate the piece in some other way. At this stage, the embossed card is given at least two coats of gesso.

The face of the bauble was painted with various shades of Traditions paint followed by some aging washes and DecoArt metallic lustre which was buffed as before.
A wooden snowflake was also painted with Traditions then swiped with metallic lustre and buffed.

The remaining face of the bauble was prepared with gesso and some moulding paste was applied through a stencil across the face. Various colours of DecoArt Traditions were then used to paint the surface. Next a design was stamped using Versamark ink followed by some gold embossing powder. Finally, some areas were highlighted with some dry brushed Metallic Lustre.

I found some bright orange tree pop outs in a magazine and thought they would be perfect templates for my garland. I drew round each shape the required number of times on scrap envelope card and cut them out. The hanging holes were made using a crop a dile.
The tree shapes are embossed in a Christmas style folder.
Each shape was covered with DecoArt gesso three times (back and front) to seal the surface. I watered the gesso down a little to avoid losing definition on the embossed surface.
Some of the trees were painted sap green from DecoArt's Traditions range. Always apply a number of coats with this colour as it's fairly translucent. Both sides of each shape were painted.
The remaining trees were painted with warm white from the Traditions range, on both sides.
Next step was to apply some DecoArt metallic lustre to the surfaces of the trees. I used some cut and dry foam on the flat black side to do this - this means that you get the lustre where you want it - well, mostly!

After a few minutes, the lustre was buffed with some kitchen paper to achieve a good shine.

Each tree section was crackled using DecoArt Perfect Crackle followed by a rub of Traditions raw umber which was left to semi dry then wiped back with a baby wipe to leave the paint only in the crackle.

The trees were then assembled and some hanging twine was added through the top hole.

Some crystal drops were tied with twine to hang from the garland, followed by some metal ball shaped buttons as seen below:

Some rusty wire was tied to the central hanging piece and given curly ends. This helped to stabilise the heavier hanging bauble shape.
Some thick rope and jute pieces were plaited together and held at the ends with knots and more curly rusty wire. The garland was hung in place to check for size.
Some white fairy lights were wound around the plait for extra effect. It's very difficult to photograph this piece successfully - it's one of those you need to see close up to get the full effect. (hence all the close ups!).

Plaited garland hanger detail.

My apologies to all those of you who prefer not to see Christmas this early - it only appears on my blog at this stage of the month - not in my house - I promise you!

Why not join in our challenge at Anything But A Card this month? You don't have to go with a seasonal make remember, the theme is 'Anything Goes' so make whatever you like, for whenever you like!

So pleased to be back and really hoping to visit you all very soon. Thank you for bearing with me this year - so many things going on!

Two Posts For The Price Of One Today: Our Creative Corner. . . . . . . . . A Very Vintage Christmas

Hello everyone, I'm so glad to be back in blogland after the trials and tribulations of 'the move'! My new craft room is set up and I intend to start using it a lot over the coming months!!

This is the first of two posts today - not my usual style but hope you can stick with me!

The challenge at Our Creative Corner this month is set by our illustrious leader Laura and what a wonderful challenge it is! Here's what Laura has come up with for you:

  For this challenge we are abandoning traditional Christmas colours and are giving Christmas a Vintage tone. No reds, no greens, just neutrals.

     The challenge here is to use a neutral think about shades of creamy hot chocolate, glistening white snow, rich dark sherry and mince pies, ivory candles, rustic wooden logs, roasting chestnuts and brown paper packages tied up with string!

    This Christmas we want you to make anything you like - Cards, ATC's, Tags, Scrapbooking, journals, Gifts, Altered art......anything you like....but please use only neutral colours from ice white, through to ivory and cream, beige to dark brown and black. You can also use metal embellishments, metal paints and stains. 

Please Note - Your creation does NOT have to be 'Vintage style' - We would love to see Christmas creations in any style, but please keep to a neutral colour scheme.

How amazing is that for a challenge?! I couldn't wait to join in the fun and if you want to see what my very talented teamies have come up with, please click here.

Here's my offering for Laura's challenge this month:

(I should warn you that this post is picture heavy - as always!)

I decided to use some wooden baubles I found online. I have altered both the front and the reverse of each wooden shape, hence the number of photos! (Sorry!).

Side One
Side Two
Side One
Side Two
Two pieces of card were embossed in seasonal folders.
Use the wooden bauble as a template to draw the shape onto the embossed card.
Carefully cut out shapes.
Paint one bauble shape with chosen colours of Traditions paint. Add the same colour/colours to the edges of the wooden bauble - this ensures that no white bits show later!
Paint both card and wood shapes with two coats of DecoArt gesso to seal.
Using a second paint colour, paint over the previous coat and dry.
When the paint is dry, lightly sand the surface to expose the previous colour.
Make a wash with Traditions Quin gold and carbon black and use to age the bauble.
I wasn't keen on the pale look so I added a wash of Traditions carbon black.
Some DecoArt metallic lustre in two different shades was randomly added with cut and dry foam then buffed.
To finish this bauble face, some wooden glittery trees were antiqued with a Krylon pen and some Traditions raw umber paint. 

After buffing the DecArt lustre paste, some rusty wire and a rusty bell were attached. The bauble can be hung using the rusty wire loop which is made simply by twisting the wire to the size required.

 Three more bauble faces were made using a variety of techniques - I fear you would fall asleep if I uploaded all the pictures! Here are a few for your information - if you need any extra details, just drop me an email and I'll happily explain.

The second face was achieved using DecoArt Traditions in a variety of colours. When dry a quin gold wash was applied. Next some black DecoArt Americana was swiped over, allowed to dry for a time and then partially removed with a baby wipe.
For this bauble, embossed card was used again over the wooden shape. DecoArt Traditions paint in warm white was used to give the shape two coats. DecoArt metallic lustre was applied to the raised sections  to highlight the snowflakes. Finally DecoArt two step was applied. When dry raw umber Traditions paint was rubbed into the cracks and the excess removed with a baby wipe. Rusty wire and bells were used to finish the look.

The remaining side also features embossed card which was painted with Traditions in a shade of white then covered with burnt umber Traditions paint. When dry, the surface was lightly sanded to reveal the white shade. Some versamark ink was stencilled through sequin waste followed by gold shimmer powder. When set, the bauble was finished with a coat of DecoArt Triple Thick glaze. A wooden snowflake was embossed with powder in a shabby white shade.

I tried to get these three pictures in a line but gave up - blogger can be so annoying at times!

That's enough from me today! I've enjoyed making these baubles and will certainly use them somewhere this Christmas. Perhaps I could add them to another project which is coming up to today. Why not pop back later and have a look?

Your turn now! Before you start, pop over to Our Creative Corner and have a peek at the wonderful work from my very, very talented teamies - you won't be disappointed!