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Saturday, 27 April 2013

My Easel Period

Hello Blogland, These are two of my creations I was asked to make for my neighbor, the evening before the person's birthday. I am not one to turn down a challenge, I said OK. I think they turned out ok, the recipient liked them, and that's the main. I was going through an easel card period as well. So here we go.

To make the easel card I used two A6 card blanks. I started by folding one side of one of the blanks in half. I tried to use the center crease as a guide and then used my bone folder to make the crease that I had just made more defined. I then cut the second blank in half, down the center crease, ready to be decorated and attached to the first card blank.

I decided to decorate the half of the card blank, first. I was going through my crafty stash and I came across some papers and toppers, from Do Crafts that I had bought 12 month before and decided to go with them. to me, Faeries are timeless and span the ages. I started by choosing a topper and match the backing papers to it. Lookly enough Do Crafts and done that for me, all the papers match the various toppers. I chose the topper with the faerie flying with butterflies in front of her. I matted and layered the topper onto black card and silver mirri card. The paper that I picked for the card blank that I had cut in half, is a graduated starry background. I chose a sentiment to match and again matted a layered it with black and silver miri card. I then layed the topper and sentiment on to the card without sticking them down, to work out the layout. When I was happy with the layout I stuck the image and sentiment to the card. In the die cut topper sheets I found some corners, so I used then in the corners of the cut in half card blank, to tie everything together. I then decorated what would be the bottom of my easel card in the blue starry paper from the paper set. I then used double sided tape to attach the the decorated half card blank to the folded half of the A6 card blank. I only put the tape on the bottom half of the decorated half card blank, so it would stand up with the aid of a stopper. For this I used an Happy Birthday sentiment, I used 3D foam tape to attach the sentiment to black card and matted both of them to silver mirri card. I then decided on how proud I wanted the easel to stand. When I was happy I stuck the the stopper down.

This is another easel card this time using a 6x6 scalloped card. I decorated this one, with free papers from a crafty magazine and  I used my grand calibur to cut the elements from Spellbinders Persian motifs set in coordinated colours.

There we are, two easel cards. I hope you enjoy.

Ian xx

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Life is just a journey!

Hello Blogland, I have seemed to move away from the good old cards for my last post and this one. But as they say "Variety is the Spice of Life!" So I bring you my first ever mixed media project.

I had a canvas in my crafty stash, that I bought about a month ago, has I was going to have a dab at acrylics, but never did.When I was sent the Curio by Sarah Hurley digi kit, I thought I would try a mixed media project and combine the two, Sarah's Curio digi kit and the canvas.

The canvas was already sized with gesso, so that was one problem out of the way. I started by printing three sheets of the background papers, the blue butterfly, the cream butterfly and the script papers. I just ripped the paper up, I was not bothered if the pieces weren't uniform in size, because I thought it would work better. Ripping paper by the way, is a great stress reliever. I then brushed a thin layer of drys clear PVA glue and started to stick. I tried to be as random as I could when picking up the pieces, but looking at the finished project, I didn't quite manage it lol. After I placed a piece of background paper, I brushed a thin layer of the drys clear PVA. I carried on covering the canvas until it was completely covered. I then brushed a final thin layer of the drys clear PVA over the completed canvas, the edges too and put aside to dry.

I was looking through the embellishments in the kit and found some butterflies that match the background papers. I loaded the kit into Serif CraftArtist and I opened an A4 blank page. I then dragged the butterfly embellishments onto my work area, resized them, so they would fit on an A4 page and printed them out. Then came the hard part, and when you hear what it is, you will be thinking "That ain't hard!", but all will be explained lol. I have never been the best cutter outer. From being a child until now, I even cut, leaving a jagged  edge or cut into the design. I try to move the thing I am cutting out and not the scissors, but still no joy. Any tips from my fellow Crafters will be greatly received! I manage to gut out all the butterflies and then had a play with positioning and how many I would use. I decided on using the ones that has some blue in them. After a lot of umming and Arring I decided that I would only use two and I would place them on the top left and bottom right corners of the canvas.

That left me with another choice to make, what to put in the center of the canvas. I opened up the Embellishment file of the kit and one of Sarah's sentiments that jumped out of me straight away. "Enjoy the journey" Why this sentiment though. The passed couple of years have not been the smoothest and I have found myself getting completely stressed at the smallest thing, so one day I decided just to sit back and change the things that I could and not worry about the things I couldn't, because life is just a journey and nobody knows what lies around the corner. So I chose this sentiment as a constant reminder to, sit back and enjoy the journey. I pulled the sentiment to my work space on CraftArtist and printed it out. I then cut it up using a guillotine, again any tips on how to cut a straight line using a guillotine, will be gratefully received, and put it to one side along with the two butterflies that I had already cut out, ready to attach to the canvas when it had dried. I decided to add a little sparkle to the butterflies wings, so I used a quickie glue pen and some ultra fine glitter in blue and purple.

when the canvas was completely dry I attached the butterflies to the top left and the bottom right corners, using the same PVA glue that I used on the canvas. I attached the sentiment to the middle of the Canvas using 3D foam tape.

There we have it, my constant reminder, that life is just a journey.

I hope you like it.

Ian xx

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

If only I had the Nerve.

Well hello out there in blogland. I thought I would share my latest project with you and this is a little different from what I have shared before.

I decided to share a scrap page with you today using the fantastic digikit Oz by Sarah Hurley. When I received the kit and first looked through it, I knew that it was going to be a kit that I would use often with my digital scrapbooking.  The kit is packed with papers, embellishments and even digi stamps. All the images have been hand drawn by Sarah herself. Sarah has managed to put her own unique style into her drawings of the well known characters.

I used Craft Artist by Serif with the digikit and it was so easy to add.

For this page I used the background with the signpost and overlayed the image of the brick road and Oz embellishment onto it. I then used a pale blue paper and cut it by using one of the digi brushes and re-coloured it. I then dragged Sarah's mega cute image of the cowardly lion and place him in the bottom left hand corner and applied a shadow. I then created a digiframe form one of Sarah's ledger embellishments, dragged my photograph into the frame. I created two faux heart shaped mats and placed my framed photograph in the middle. For my journaling I used one of Sarah's journaling cards. I then finished of by adding the Be Brave banner embellishment to the bottom of the heart and added some flower embellishments to the bottom right, so they looked like they were growing at the bottom of the signpost.

I chose to keep the page simple, because I didn't want to distract from Sarah's imagery. This kit and all off Sarah's products can be found on Sarah's website .

I hope you enjoy my creation. Ian x

Sunday, 14 April 2013

My first attempt of colouring in with ProMarkers

I love this Stamp from Whimsy Stamps. This was my first visit to the land of promarkers and I really hadn't any idea how to shade or anything. When I coloured in, usually, I couldn't stay in the lines. I had watched one of the guest stamped the image onto bleedproof card using a black dye based ink. I started on the fairy's hair. I used lemon and  primrose. I used the lines of the stamped image to colour every other segment using the darkest yellow, lemon. I then coloured the remaining segments using the lighter yellow, primrose. I then went over all of the hair with primrose.

I then moved onto the wings. I decided to use the really pale colours, to give the impression of the wings being sheer. I used, from my small FlexMarker collection, pale lavender and pale blossom.
 Now it was time to tackle the dreaded skin. Even now I really don't like colouring in skin, but I muddle through. I'm not too sure on the colours I used, that 's what you get for trying to blog about a card you made months ago. I think I used soft peach and pale pink from the skin accents set of ProMarkers,
   For her dress, shoes and corsage in her hair I used Arctic blue and Sky blue. I wend over the creases of the dress in the darker blue, which was Sky blue, to try and give the dress some shading, I cut the image out, using a X Cut scalloped square dies, it was the second largest and matted it onto some spotted backing paper, which I cut using the X Cut dies again, this time the largest die in the set. I wet glued it to the white 6x6 scalloped white card. Near the spine I tied some red and white twin around the card. From my stash I used a white foiled die cut greeting. To tie the greeting in, I coloured it, using Tim Holtz, Barn Door distress ink and attached it to the card using 3D foam pads.

That's was my ProMarker/FlexMarker, Whimsy Stamps fairy card.

Ian x

Oh no, not another Christmas card.

This is one of the cards that I made to send to the people on my list. This card was made from a kit that I got free with a crafty magazine and used some red mirri. This one was quite quick thinking about it.

I used a green A6 card blank form the kit and matted some red mirri onto it. Then I layered the Partridge paper on top. For the topper I found a light blue Christmas tag, with a partridge on it, but it didn't really match the paper. So to tie the tag in, I stuck it on the some red mirri and cut round the tag. I added a vellum sentiment and attached the tag to the card with 3D foam. I then Added a chipboard, die cut holly and berries to the top left hand corner with wet glue and voila, my free gift, Partridge Christmas card. I always thought that the free card kits wasn't anything to write home about, but, it's what you do with them, that makes them special.

Ian x

My quick last minute Christmas card.

Well I know it is only April and we have just had Easter, but I promised to post the the cards in the order that they were made, so this is my first one.

It was December 21st 2012 and I had made and sent out all of my Christmas cards out and I decided to put my feet up and enjoy the last couple of days in the run up to the main event. I decided to take, Buddy for a walk and when I came back, there was an envelope on the floor. It was a card from a neighbor, who had just moved in and I didn't know that well. I didn't have any back up cards made or any, and I know what I am going to say is a swear word, bought cards, so I made this card. Well enough of my waffle, let me tell you how I made up the card.

I was at a loss, my craftyness had run out completely  and I was just staring at a blank 6x6 scalloped  white card. I started to tear up bit if copy paper that I had written my christmas card list on, and all of a sudden, I thought of using paper to make a triangle Christmas Tree. I found some green Christmas paper and cut a solid triangle out, but it didn't look right. I then cut the triangle into strips and placed it on the card, but I didn't like just having the green, so I cut strips of the striped paper and glued them down in alternating colours and sizes. I then cut a small rectangle for the trunk and a small thin rectangle for the top of the tree, I then used a bubble stamp, to use as the baubles, I stamped the bubbles in Green and red. I then stamped the top with a star, I used a green Christmas tag from my stash and a vellum sentiment, to finish the card off.

So that is my quick last minute Christmas Card I hope you like it.

Ian x

Saturday, 13 April 2013

How I found Craft.

Like my profile says I have always had a love of all things crafty, from a young age. I would look at paintings and appreciate the colours and how they went together. I would watch in awe as someone would sketch a landscape in great detail, with the high and low lights created masterfully with a single pencil. Even though I could appreciate the art and even the artist, I wasn't able to emulate the artwork myself. I tried to teach myself to draw, via books at first and then when the marvelous invention called the internet came readily available I watch online lessons, but I had to concede defeat and admit to myself I was not a natural artist. 

One day I was flicking through the many channels that had become available, thanks to Sky and the then named cable and wireless, now known to us all as Virgin Media, I came across a new channel called Create and Craft. I watched avidly and what I learnt from that first show, that there were different kinds of art and not just drawing and painting. I then tuned in for an hour every day, and slowly a light bulb flickered over my head and I thought I could do that. At that time, that is all it was a thought, because of commitments and new interests.

A year later and I found myself living away from my family and unemployed, all this led to my health declining and in fact I was diagnosed with depression. I had so much spare time on my hands, I really could have done so much, but with the the black cloud of depression hanging over me and sucking all the get up and go, out of me, nothing extra was done.  Again the same thing happened, I was flicking and I found Create and Craft again. I can remember thinking why are they showing Christmas things, because it was only June. The product that was being demonstrated, was the pinflair polystyrene snowman and Christmas bell and I can even remember the guests name, it was Christine, Princess Pinflair. I thought to myself, That looks really relaxing and I could make them for my parents for presents. I checked my cash flow and I can remember I was slightly short, but I knew I was going to get paid at the end of the week. I waited and I placed my order for the snowman kit. I was like a child at christmas, excited and willing it to come. My parcelle finally arrived and I opened it straight away. I don't even think I read the instruction, I just started pushing the coloured pins into the shape. It must of taken me about three weeks to finish it, but when it was done, Oh it was a masterpiece, or that is what I thought. I can remember wrapping it up and carrying it with great care on the coach back to Leeds, to take it to my parents. When my parents unwrapped my masterpiece, the looks on their faces said it all. My dad's face said to me, "Gee thanks!" and my Mum's said, "What on earth is it?" I thrust the snowman to them and I told them I had spent ages making it, for them. My mum then gave me the look a Mother gives a toddler, when they have been creative with pain for the first time. I didn't mind though, because I had made it myself, I had made something for them that, they wouldn't get from anyone else. The snowman actually had pins missing, one of its eyes was at the side of its head and the list could go on, but I loved it.
Every Christmas, my snowman comes out, a little more worse for wear, but I still love my first every creation and it reminds me that we all have to start somewhere  and we will have our disasters and our masterpieces alone the crafty road, and we should never give up.

I know what I am going to tell you now contradicts what I have just said, but I did give up after I branched out into papercraft and especially card making. The thing that happened was I put my heart and soul, and still do, into everything I make, and with the my illness, all it took was one bad criticism  to make me, down tool and never make anything for nearly seven years. I never stopped watching Create and Craft in awe of how professional the cards where and told myself, I can never do that.

March 2012, I started buying craft magazines to look at the cards and papercraft projects that had been created, also I managed to gather a few free crafty goodies. My passion was re-ignited and I wanted to start creating things again, but who for. Two months passed and Fathers Day was approaching  and that gave me the chance to get creating. I made my dad a Fathers Day card, from a seven year old CDrom{Us men are really difficult to make cards for} and a card blank I got free with a magazine. I again was pleased with my result and in the post it went. I rang my parents two days after, eager to hear what they thought of the card. It hadn't arrived, so I rang every day until it finally arrived. This time I couldn't see my parents faces, so I didn't really know what they were thinking, but my dad sounded, really pleased. That little boost and I kept watching Create and Craft for inspiration and then it was Christmas, that is when I found the enjoyment and love of crafting again. I will be posting all the cards that I have made since Christmas 2012, in date order and new cards as and when.. Please bare with me, if the images are not clear, I am cameraless and I am scanning the cards into my computer.

So that is my journey so far down the crafty road. I hope you will join me as I continue my journey and I hope you enjoy my creations.

Ian x