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!