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Friday, 31 May 2013

All that Glitters is Gold

Hello Blogland it's that time of the month when the lovely Sarah Hurley launches her new blog challenge. Challenged 81's theme is All that glitters is gold. So you can go all out with your goldness or just hints, it's entirely up to you. So pop over and have a look at the rest of the design teams interpretation of the theme, that was chosen by the lovely Candice, here. So OK here my interpretation of the theme.

I was sent some book templates from my very good friend Wendy, and as soon as I saw them, I knew what kit would go well with them. Bookworm is the latest in a very large range of hand drawn digi kits, from the very talented Sarah Hurley. The kit is packed with 12 12x12 papers, 40 embellishments and just for good measure Sarah has included 5 hand drawn digi stamps, so packed to the rafters with crafting goodness. For more details of Sarah's Bookworm kit please click here. All of Sarah's kits can be easily added to any platform of Serif CraftArtist, please see my tutorial post for a step by step guide.

 I drew round the templates onto card and cut them out. I did the same with the book shelf paper, embossed mirri board and the ledger paper. I adhered the book shelf paper onto the largest page and went round with some yellow and gold chain link peel offs from my stash. I did the same with the ledger paper. I used red liner tape down the spine of the underside of the small page to adhere it to the embossed mirri board page and then I used a gold sequined ribbon down the middle to look like a bookmark. I attached the larger page to the other two pages the same way. I cut some flourishes out of two different shades of gold using Spellbinders dies and used them to embellish the bottom left and top right corners. I chose the book stack embellishment from the kit, I used CraftArtist professional 2 to resize and flip the embellishment. I also used CraftArtist to resize the Sitting boy and girl and the bookworm embellishments. I then printed them out and fussy cut them out. I decided to have the boy and girl sitting on the book stacks, so I used pva glue to stick the book stack embellishments flat and 3D glue gel to adhere the boy and girl embellishments. I used 3D gel again to adhere the bookworm. I used CraftArtist again to create the sentiment, cut it out and used 3D foam pads to raise it up. There we have it, my take on the challenge theme "All that Glitters is Gold." I hope you enjoy it.

Ian xx

The Bookworm kit and all of Sarah's fabulous products can be found here.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Easel Does it

Good Afternoon Blogland. This post is about my first Altered Art project. I really enjoyed making it so here goes.

The easel started it's life as a plain wooden easel that I purchased from That Craft Place Facebook group. I got it to display my creations, but I thought I would try altering it.

I first painted it with a coat of white Gesso, again from That Craft Place and put aside to dry. When it was dry I painted an acrylic wash in green and while it was still wet went over it with an acrylic wash in balck and left to dry. I then used Cosmic Shimmer metallic Gilding wax, the colour was golden light, to add some bling to the edges of the easel. I then used a stamp from IndigoBlu's Itsy Bitsy Background set and black dye based ink to add a bit of texture, I really should've used a stazon or an archival, but it dried eventually. Now comes the decorating. My friend and fellow member of Sarah Hurleys DT, Claire Newcombe, sent me some card candy and a few die cut bits, for being her 100th follower of her blog. To check out Claire's crafty creations Click Here. I made up the die cut flowers and and arranged them on my easel so I could see how it would look, when I was happy I glued them down. There we have it my first Altered Art project. I hope you all enjoy it.

Ian xx

I have entered my easel into the Crafting musketeers challenge #1 anything goes.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Handmade and Fab-u-lous

Happy weekend blogland, from a grey and wet Rochdale. I hope the weather is better where you are. If not here's a bright and colourful project for you. So here goes.

I have created another 12x12 digital scrapbook page, using Serif CraftArtist 2 and the All Sewn Up digi kit from Sarah Hurley.

I started by Loading the digi kit into CraftArtist 2, (if you would like to find out how, please take a look at my tutorial.) When the kit was loaded, I took a couple minutes to look at all the hand drawn papers and embellishments, before I decided on what I wanted to use. That was a very difficult decision to make, because Sarah, as always has packed the kit full of beautiful papers and embellishments. I decided in the paper with the strips of stitches design on, as my base layer. I then chose the material with the tape measure design, resized it and cut it with the the digital scissors, the cut I used was pinking, to stay with the sewing theme and I placed it vertically on the left hand side of my page. I did the same with the pattern designed material and placed it horizontally at the bottom of my page. I decided to use the tailor's dummy/manikin embellishment, I resized it and placed it over the the tape measure designed material. One of the new features if CraftArtist 2, is digital decoupage. I decided to use it on the manikin embellishment. I dragged on the pin cushion embellishment and resized it. The colour of the embellishments, didn't match the colours of my design, so I used the colour picker, to pick out one of the colours on the background and re coloured it. I decoupaged it as well. I grouped three buttons together and place them at the side of the pin cushion. I did the same with two cotton bobbin embellishments and placed them at the bottom right of the page. I place the scissor embellishment behind the pin cushion. The kit doesn't come with any digi frames, but you can turn certain embellishments into them. I will be posting a step by step tutorial on how to make digital frames on Tuesday.

The picture that inspired this project is of my younger self in one of the many fancy dress costumes that my nan used to make me, as part of my christmas present. This particular one was a hand cut, machine sewn cowboy costume. My mum as still got all the original patterns that my nan used. Don't I look such a proud and happy cowboy. 

I popped the picture into the digital frame. I then chose one of the many hand drawn journaling cards onto the page, resized it and placed my journaling on it. I used a font that is installed onto my laptop. I then found a cross stitch brush that is preinstalled on CraftArtist 2 and went round the frame and the journaling card. There we have it, my completed digi scrap page using the fabulous hand drawn kit bt Sarah Hurley.

To find out more about Sarah and to see all of her marvelous products click here.

I hope you enjoy

Ian xx

Sunday, 12 May 2013

How to Load Sarah Hurley's Digikits to Serif CraftArtist.

Hello blogland and happy Sunday. As I promised on Friday I am doing my first ever tutorial. My tutorial is on how to load the fabulous digikits from Sarah Hurley in to Serif CraftArtist. It's really easy to do, so much so, I managed it ok. So here we go.

1   First open up the Craft Artist program
2   Choose blank project

 3   Choose what type of project you would like to work with and press ok

 4     A popup will appear with all your digi kits that are already installed. Because we are creating a new digi kit with Sarah’s kit. We don't need to select one, so just click on done.

 5   Click on tools. That appears in the top tool bar and chose digi kit creator and this screen will pop up. 

  6     Click on the import button.

   7     A drop down box will appear, you can either choose add files of folders, for this tutorial we are adding folders, because Sarah’s kits will go into different folders when they are downloaded.

   8    Scroll to where Sarah’s kit has been stored and click on the kit you would like to load into craft artist.

   9     The folder will open, showing different folders inside i.e. embellishments, papers and Alphabets.

I find it easier if I load the embellishments first followed by the papers.

  10     Click on the folder you want to add first and click OK.

In about 2 minutes all the contents of the chosen folder will appear in the box. Repeat steps 6 to 10 until you have loaded the embellishments and Papers. If you want to have materials in your digi kit you are creating, you can load in the paper folder and they will automatically become editable materials when they are loaded in as materials. 

Loading Alphabets

1:  click on the alphabet tab at the side of the digi kit creator side tool bar. Click on the import tab, like we did to add the papers and embellishments and choose add folder. Scroll to the folder with the digi kit you are loading and find the alphabet folder, click on it and click OK.

You will see this screen pop up. The final process is a little bit time consuming but not difficult at all.

2:  You will see a letter, icon or punctuation symbol at the top left hand corner of the box and then click on the corresponding letter, icon or punctuation symbol. If there isn't any corresponding symbol in the box use your keyboard to match the symbol.
Carry on doing this until the entire alphabet is loaded.

Saving your new Digi Kit

When you have loaded all the elements of the digi kit all that is left to do is save and name your new digi kit. To do so click on the save digikit tab. A pop up box will pop up and then you can name the digikit and press save.
After that you will see all the elements flash up as your new digikit is saved and ready for you to craft with.

So there we are, my first tutorial. I hope you find it easy to follow. if you have any questions, please leave me a comment or email me on . If I can help you I will be happy to and if I don't know the answer straight away, I will find out and get back to you.

Ian xx

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Under the Sea

Good Afternoon blogland. I have got two cards for you today.  I have used the same stamp, but achieved two different looks just by using different colouring mediums. So here we go.

I saw this stamp and instantly fell in love with the image. I love everything ethereal and mystical. So she was crying out to me, to be stamped. The stamp is from an American company called La La Land. To be honest with you all, I hadn't heard of the company, but I am already on the lookout for more of their stamps.

I stamped the image onto bleedproof white card, using a black Ink-It-Up dye based ink. The stamped image was really clear. I coloured the image with ProMarkers. I used Cobalt, Arctic and Sky blue for the mermaids tail and her top, For her hair I used Canary, Lemon and Primrose. For her skin I used Soft Peach, Pale Pink and Almond. I tried to use the the technique that Sarah Hurley demonstrated on Create and Craft. It didn't turn out too bad. I then fussy cut the image and coloured the white border with a blue gray FlexMarker. For the card base I used a white stepper card from DoCrafts. I matted it with Silver embossed mirri card. I then layered that with a couple of 6x6 papers from the Beach Babe collection by Fancy Pants. I attached the image to the the card using foam pads. I used blue gems as the air bubbles. I Stamped the sentiment using a blue dye based ink and cut it out with a spellbinders Labels 18 die and I cut the silver mat with the next size up with the same die set.

One down one to go.........

This is a 6x6 scalloped edge white card again from DoCrafts. This time I coloured the mermaid stamped image with FlexMarkers. For the hair, tail and the top, I used blue grey 1, glacier blue and soft agua. for the mermaids skin I used pink lavender, pale blossom and muted pink. I cut the image out using labels 18 and inked the edges with Tim Holtz weathered wood distress ink. I matted the card blank with blue mirri and layers with a Teresa Collins 6x6 Fabrications paper collection. I attached the image to the card blank using foam pads and finished of the project off with the blue embellishment cut from the trailing leafs die from crafts too.

There we have it two cards, two different results using the same stamp.

I hope you enjoy

Ian xx

Friday, 10 May 2013

Wherever you may be.

Good afternoon blogland, I've got a 12x12 digital scrapbook page to share with you today. I created the page with Expedition by Sarah Hurley digital kit. So how did you do it I hear you cry, well lets go....

When I first looked through the kit, I was amazed at the quantity of the kit. The quality speaks for itself, because the kit was designed by Sarah and not only did Sarah design the kit, she drew all the elements herself, by hand. In the kit there are twelve, 12x12 papers, that can be resized so they can be printed, 88 hand drawn embellishments, 1 alphabet and two A4 sheets of hand drawn embellishments. So the kit is bursting at its seams, with all you would need to document and capture your holiday memories and so much more.

I started by loading the kit into CraftArtist by Serif. I will be posting a step by step tutorial on how to load all of Sarah's digi kits onto CraftArtist on Sunday. It's really simple to do, even I managed to load the kit with no problems. I will also be showing you how to turn Sarah's embellishments into digital frames. So pop back on Sunday if you have some spare time.

When the kit was loaded, I first pulled on all the 12x12 resizable papers onto my workspace one by one, so I could see all the beautiful papers. I decided to use the wood effect paper. I then did the same with the material. I decided to go with the yellow striped material, because I thought it would  look like wallpaper against the wood effect paper. Everything started to fall into place. To give a ripped wallpaper effect, I cut the material with the digi scissors.  I was happy with the ripped paper look I had created. Now it was time to look at the embellishments. Whilst looking at the embellishments, I noticed the tall ships and the hot air balloons that Sarah had drawn beautifully and they jumped out at me. I decided to pull the two hand drawn tall ships and the two hand drawn hot air balloons onto my work area. I resized one of the tall ships, to give the effect of distance and faded it a little with the transparency tool. I did the same with one of the hot air balloon and applied a drop shadow to the ripped paper and all the the embellishments.I wanted to use a sentiment that meant something not only to me, but to other people as well, but I was struggling, until I looked at the embellishments and they gave me some inspiration.

I moved away from my hometown nearly 9 years ago and I try to go back to see my parents as often as I can, but sometimes life just gets in the way. To remind me that my parents are always there, especially my mum, I made up my own sentiment, using a font that was already loaded on my laptop. I then pulled a photograph of my mum. If she looks fed up, she was, because She was trying to have a rest, but it's hard when , you've got someone saying smile every two minutes. Sorry mum. I faded the picture using the transparency tool and I chose to use the plasma effect, to give the photograph the look like it was in the clouds, with the hot air balloons.

There we have it. A reminder for myself, that even though I am 60 miles away from my mum, she will always be there for me, no matter what.

I hope you enjoy.

Ian xx

The Expedition by Sarah Hurley digi kit and all of Sarah's marvelous products can be found here and if you've got a spare few minutes pop over to Sarah's blog for tips and inspiration from Sarah herself.

Friday, 3 May 2013


Well blogland, It's here, my latest creation, but not only is it that, it's my first ever DT entry into Sarah Hurley's Blog Challenge. It doesn't stop there, Oh no, I used one of Sarah's brand new kits, that was launched this week, but more about that later. Yet more news The third volume of the LookBook is out. It is packed full of ideas and inspirations from Sarah and the design team, but there are two projects by yours truly in there, my mixed media project and this project. I was my debut outing in the world of the Crafty Magazines. You can have a look at all the Design Teams lovely projects here, just below Sarah's post about the brilliant Gatsby kit. The name of this months challenge this month, is Shades of Blue and you can check out all the design teams entries and entry yourself here.

I chose the gatsby kit for my12x12 digiscrap project, because of all the lovely shades of blue, funnily enough and because when I saw the images, I knew what photo I was going to use. I started by loading the kit into Serif CraftArtist. I saw the Art Deco embellishment, and it screamed out to be made into a frame. I started by choosing the papers for the background, there were so many to chose and all has lovely has each other, I had to use a few of them. I dragged them onto my work area one by one, resized them and cut them up with one of the digital scissors. I then played around with the layout and when I was happy, I used the transparency slider to fade the pieces of cut up papers to different degrees. I then dragged on the frame that I had made, out of the hand drawn  blue Art Deco embellishment onto my work area and snapped my picture into it. the pictures is of my late nan. I then added a shadow and dragged and layered the floral embellishments and added shadows to them as well. I then added a journaling embellishment with the same design as the floral embellishments and used that for my journalling. I finished off the project by adding the two glamorous ladies again hand drawn by Sarah, to frame both the photograph and my journaling.

There we have it my first DT blog challenge entry. I hope you enjoy.

Ian xx

The Gatsby kit and all of Sarah's fantastic products can by found here on Sarah's website, where you can also find Issues one and two of the LookBook.