Sunday, 21 November 2010

More Pink!

Can I apologise in advance for the poor quality photos of late .. its hard to get any half decent ones without skill or natural sunlight!

This card I made as an attempt to change from the standard size cards. When I went to the Craft Expo recently (the one at the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne) I bought myself some textured paper and matching envelopes for square cards. I must say I was stumped at first to get any of my previous layouts to work for square cards. So as if I needed any encouragement, I surfed the net and you-tubed to my hearts content.

What I came up with was a take on all those wonderful CAS websites and the inspiration from this amazing card that I saw at Sue Madex's latest SU catalogue launch where someone (I think in her team... feel free to let me know Sue so I can give her credit) made an amazing card in two different ways using this stamp set. Her card looked both girly and chic at the same time and seemed to have beautiful detail. It stuck in my mind, so when I made my card, I looked down and it was clear that there was a distinct influence from that earlier card. I just hope I did it justice!

This stamp set is one of the level 1 SU hostess sets called Birthday Bakery. I simply stamped it with Versamark and heat-embossed it with black embossing powder. Once set, I coloured in with SU markers and then put glossy accents on highlighted points like the frosting or cherries on top! I know its not that visible in the photos but in real life it gives it a bit of a lift. I heat embossed the matching sentiment from the stamp set and the lines were just drawn in using the basic black SU marker and a trusty metal ruler. HINT: wipe your ruler with a cloth or paper towel after each line if you don't want to leave an ugly dark swipe across the face of the card when sliding the ruler across! (learnt that the hard way .. bugger!) Of course that was after I had done all the embosing and colouring :(

The inside is more of the same, just individually cut out and stuck on using dimensionals.

To be honest I thought cutting them out would be really fiddly, but these shapes are really forgiving and I was able to use the paper snips and cut a bunch out really quickly. It gets a bit mesmerising after a while. If you're looking to tune out and live in la-la land for a while - this is the quickest way I've found :)

So howzat mum? Two pink cards in as many posts .. I'm not a lost cause after all! hehe

The next post is what I have spent this weekend on - invitations to my dad's Surprise 70th birthday! (lucky he's totally computer illiterate otherwise the cat would have been let out of the bag. He called the Internet "Goggle" (like the swimming glasses) the other day, it was kinda cute :)

Till then, enjoy yourselves and here's hoping for some time to hit the Christmas Cards! x

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Pretty in Pink

My mum would be killing herself laughing if she were reading this blog right now, as she of all people know that the colour pink and I have not been good friends for a very long time!

My mum says that she was desperate for a little girl, so when I was born, she went mad on pink frilly things. Much to her dismay, I never really went through the 'girly' phase .. so my beautiful princess bedroom (queue whiter than white furniture with gold handles and pink accessories as far as the eye could see... curtains, doona covers, pillows, throws, and bed valance.. you get the picture!) was totally wasted on me. The first chance I got, I turfed all things pink and swapped them for British Racing Green and Maroon! Since then, I've never really been comfortable with pinks ... and indeed the last post was about as pink as I have ever gotten - until today that is!

I was on the hunt for a warm pink colour, and loved SU's Pink Pirouette, but cranky about the lack of matching embellishments/ribbons et al. So I went down the path of one of the new in-colours: Pretty In Pink. It's a little more vivid than I would have liked, but it seems to set off the choc chip accents, so maybe its okay after all :)

I played around with my base card this time as I wanted it to fit into a standard envelope, but was sick of the usual version of A4 CS cut in half horizontally with a side-fold or long top-fold. This time, I cut the A4 sheet in half lengthwise, and used it to make a portrait card but with the fold on top. I just rounded the corners with the punch to take away all those harsh angles.

Its that trusty old Kraft again, stamped using my new SU Kraft (Crumb Cake) Classic Stampin Pad (Yay!) Its so much better than relying on versarmark. I think it gives a much crisper image for that shade on shade look.

I've stamped it with the SU En Francais background stamp which I am totally in love with. Seriously so versatile. The Pretty in Pink CS has been run through the big shot with the Swiss dots embossing folder and matted onto WW.

Those gorgeous butterflies you've all seen around lately - again nifty SU embosslit dies for the big shot called 'Beautiful Wings'. It has 5 different butterflies in the single die which is great for matching accents.

I've used two of the largest butterflies in Choc Chip CS and stuck them on with Ranger Glossy Accents. (Crystal Effect should do the same thing). I shaped the top butterfly with my fingers and just stuck it on using a tiny line of Glossy accents. I had tried using dimensionals but they were always visible, so this did the trick and stuck it on nice and snug without losing its 3D-ness (is that even a word??) hehe. Here's a close up which may help explain ...

The butterfly path was just penciled in free-hand and pierced with the paper piercer and matt pack. I then rubbed out the pencil and traced it with my choc chip marker for that faux stitched look.

I wrapped some translucent white ribbon around the whole card front which I bought from the local $2 shop. It's width works well I think because the inside flap just has that lovely pattern pulled taught against the Kraft card stock and looks very elegant. (Me!.. elegant ... unbelievable I know!)

I've tied a knot but it needed something extra, so out came those gorgeous SU antique brads. I've secured them as normal, but then squirted a little glossy accents under them to hold them tight in place. I found it makes them more robust when handled without being visible.

The inside was quick and easy as I just used the off-cuts of the Pretty in Pink CS when I trimmed it down to fit off-centre and 2 of the remaining butterflies from the same die. I love the fact that you can whizz it nice through the die for 5 matching embellishments. Gotta love the laziness of it all :)

The matching envelope again was just alternating colours of the same die. See, so simple!

So that's my girly girl Pretty in Pink butterfly card.  (Mum, stop hyperventilating - you have not gone colour-blind!)

I think I've done my dash at pink for a while, but .. well maybe there's one more in me before I head back to the safety of my earthy/neutral tones!

Until then, take care and Happy crafting x

Monday, 15 November 2010

Getting Clucky ... ?

Sorry for the temporary absence, but one of my best friends arrived from the UK and we spent a wonderful week and a half having a fab time cruising around the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island and soaking up the Melbourne sun (while it lasted!) ... and rediscovering that I can get drunk just looking at the amount she can drink! hehe

That said, I have been a busy crafting bee and will be posting a number of cards I've made lately...
These are two baby cards I made recently... I just fell in love with the Stampin Up Baby Tees jumbo wheel from the moment I received the catalogue and wanted to make it the focal point of my card. There have been very many versions of this style of card, and this is mine ...

I just rolled the stampin wheel along whisper white CS in choc chip ink and then coloured them in. 

Now because I'd spent far too much browsing you tube these days, I came across this colouring technique using pencils and odourless mineral spirits (I think the main American brand is called Gamsol). The pencils have to be wax based, and everyone has been raving about prismacolour pencils - but my budget didn't stretch that far.  I did however find some called "Koh-i-Noor" which is a Czech brand and got great reviews. 

Basically you colour in the images in the pencils and then use a paper stub (the rolled up paper in the shape of a pencil) dipped in the mineral spirits which spreads the colour around evenly and gives really good coverage and soft colour play. Its a shame the photo doesn't make it clearer but you get the ability to shade and give texture without that scratchy look you get with other pencils. 

After colouring the images as described, I just cut them out with the trusty paper snips and 'hung' them on the kitchen twine line. I secured it by punching holes with my paper piercer and matt pack, and putting in a brad. I just wound the string around each before pressing them in - hey presto- washing line!
The scallop edge on the Kraft CS added that little bit of cutesy detail it needed once mounted on plain whisper white card stock.

Here's the girly version:
Exactly the same but in shades of pink.
Originally I had tried to colour these in with my SU markers, but the colour was too vivid and left 'texta marks'. I needed the pastel look which is totally not me!

I was going to try to watercolour them, but I hadn't yet gotten an aqua painter and my brush just wouldn't stay in the lines (well okay, I couldn't!) so this technique worked well for me. 

I coloured in a whole A4 sheet at a time which sounds like a drag but it was actually really therapeutic! Really good to do when you need distracting or watching a 'take-it-or-leave-it' show on tellie!

So what do you think? I was really happy with the way they turned out, but maybe that's because I keep thinking of babies! x