Monday, 30 January 2012

Butterflies for all ages

I was never a girly girl growing up, but there's something about butterflies that doesn't have to be naf. I think here they can also look a bit retro/vintage, without looking 'shabby chic' (a look I would love to pull off, but have not a hope in hell of doing so! hehe)

This is one of my new birthday cards, simple, but hopefully effective!

I also pulled out my old crimper after making an effort to pull out a lot of my old tools, ribbons etc and make good use out of them. The crimper was stuck in one of the back drawers. I don't know why I neglected it, It adds such great texture with little fuss! 

The butterflies are three dimensional and I think they add a little extra whimsy that way. I initially made it for tweenage girls, but I don't think I would mind one myself! (young at heart at least - ahem!)

The entire card is textured with the linen/canvas impression plate from PTI. I have decided you may be hard-pressed to find a card I am not using it on lately!

Happy crafting!    AM x


Stamps:  SU! Hostess Afterthoughts
Paper:  PTI White, SU! Crumb Cake, Real Red
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black
Misc: Ribbon Girl red striped twill, SU! Embosslits Beautiful Wings, PTI Linen/Canvas Impression Plate.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Busy Little Bee ...

Just in case you thought I was disappearing again, I was actually busy working on an exciting new project ... I'm actually opening up a web store! Crazy I know!

In the meantime, I will be sending around a newsletter via email with a few of my more recent cards and an order form for those of you who are interested. For those card bloggers, I will still have a basic list of supplies at the bottom of my posts!

It's more than a little daunting, but hey - one can only try! 

So in the spirit of recent card-making, here is a sample of a few of my latest creations!

I can see me making this is a variety of colours (in fact, I have used this design for a number of cards already) but if anyone likes the idea, it may even become a multi- pack in different colours with a whole variety of sentiments ready to adhere so that whoever buys the pack, can choose the sentiment, stick it on an viola! It can be as much as a farewell, thinking of you, or thank you card as much as it is a birthday card! What do you think? - Thanking Jennifer McGuire for that idea!
I've also posted a more detailed shot as I have run the front through the PTI bookprint impression plate. I LOVE these impression plates and the simple but fine texture they give to cards!

So here's the detailed shot -
I hope you like this one. I have to say I have become quite fond of the brightness of it without it being too girly.

It makes me smile - I hope it does the same for you!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

AM x

Stamps: SU! four frames, HA birthday sentiments.
Paper:  PTI white, SU! real red, pretty in pink, Basic Black
Ink:  Memento Tuxedo Black
Misc: PTI bookprint Impression Plate

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Clean & Simple Online Class - Pushing the boundaries

When Jennifer McGuire gave a tutorial on 'Wet Inking' in the Clean & Simple Online class, I got myself into a right tizz! Not only was I lacking distress inks, but my attempts were going from dismal to pathetic...

These were Jennifer's cards:

Then to make the fear factor worse, a friend of mine Michelle Lupton went on to use the tutorial to make THIS amazing card which Jennifer herself twitted about!

So of course, it made me shake in my proverbial boots even further. I nearly gave up, but I did ultimately come up with a 'passable' card: I used Baja Breeeze SU classic ink on the craft mat and sprayed perfect pearls onto it. I used my acrylic block as the stamp.

This was ultimately the card I came up with.. Not sure that I should post it, but what's a learining curve without mistakes eh? Besides, I am protecting my ego a little by not posting the other previous attempts (which promptly made their way into the bin where they belonged!)

No laughing at the bit I messed up on the bottom left and had to place an askew sentiment which now doesn't let the card sit flush on the table top!

Well there you go!

Happy stamping people, not sure whether I'll brave this one again - it was very outside my comfort zone, but then again one never knows!

Take care, Anne-Marie x

New Valentines Card

Last night, I was playing around in the craft room (there is a benefit to insomnia afterall!) and I came across THIS design by the amazing Julie Ebersole who is one of the designers of the Clear & Simple Online class and I fell in love with the simplicity of the design and the banners in conjunction with the circles.

This was my take on her design...

I am loving Real Red from SU! I recently bought it because Ruby Red was too muted (and retired) and Cherry Cobbler was too deep for a primary red. I took the cue from Susan Raihala who thinks real red is the best red ever - I must say, I'm tending to agree!

The banners are from a cheap paper pad I bought at a dollar store (they're all from the same sheet which is great as they're more likely to compliment each other). I am really struggling with using patterned paper on my cards, so this was a much simpler way of attempting it!

The 3D hearts were die cut and folded in the middle. I folded 3 of them, and put a flat one on the back to make them more sturdy. I got the dimension idea from this Christmas Card (PS: I forgot to write down the source, so feel free to claim it as yours in comments and I'll credit you properly) ... and because I was so happy with this card, I made a few more!

Gotta love it when things come together without much effort don't you!

Hope everyone else has a wonderful crafting day!

Cheers, Anne-Marie xxx

Friday, 13 January 2012

Background text 2

This next card is a totally different vibe, despite it being a birthday card as well. It takes the texts and covers it in vellum (or in my case tracing paper). Its a fairly masculine card, but I like the cleanness of it!

I stuck the vellum down under the centred ribbon, it doesn't flap as much in real life but hopefully you get the idea...

The sentiment is stamped on a die set by My Favourite Things. It's really versatile and you can use each shape individually or in the nesting set like this is!

The texture on the card is Canvas - it's the reverse side of the PTI Linen Impression Plate.. talk about value for money!

Well that's it for me - that's a whole flurry of posts after a long absence! Anne-Marie x

Text Background Stamps

I was soo happy to get some tips in relation to using texts stamps in the Clean & Simple online class! I lurve my text stamps - I only have two (SU En Francais and HA Friend definition). I love the Hero Arts stamp in particular, because it has great sized modern font and is versatile for both girly and masculine cards. This card I'd classify as unisex.. what do you think?

I love how festive it feels! For those of you who have enrolled (and I think you can late enrol because you get to keep the videos and PDF's forever) make sure you follow their advice and actually emboss the cardstock BEFORE die cutting the letters. Doing it backwards was rather disastrous!  Once I got the hang of things it was much easier and now I have a whole bunch of letters which are embossesd and can make cards with the rest of the letters some other time without going to the hassle of heat embossing!

Next is card number 2 just with a different feel ....

Valentines Cards

I have been a busy little bee over the Christmas break making Valentines Cards to sell at my local florist..

I got this idea from surfing Pinterest. It also works in with the online Clean & Simple class which in Day 2 focuses on the 'visual triangle'. That's what I tried to achieve here...

Here come a few more designs that will be for sale. If anyone is interested is buying any, feel free to leave me comments on the blog or on facebook (which will soon be linked to this site) each comes with a matching envelope in a plastic sleeve for protection for AU$7.00

I have become very addicted to using cardstock strips for texture and colour on cards.
The next card is again pretty simple but I love the texture of the PTI Linen Impression Plate and the popped up heart polka dot heart. The card is faux stitched so it doesn't come through on the inside of the card...

The letters are die cuts also from PTI. They are currently releasing matching upper case letters and numbers - YAY!

It's a shame the texture doesn't show up in the photos - I'll have to make a concerted effort to get close ups as that impression plate is so beautiful!

The last card for today is a retro-inspired Valentine's card .. For those of you who know me well, it's quite comical because I have an irrational and significant phobia of birds... These little cuties however don't pose a problem!

Here I have used the same Impression plate but on the actual card base. The heart-shaped wings and tails are paper pieced and are propped up on dimensionals which gives it a little whimsy... 

Thisis also the first time I cracked open the Tope Note die from Tim Holtz. I've had it for ages (when it was all the rage), but it was never my go-to die.. now not so sure! 

Happy stampin!  Anne-Marie x

Negative die cuts

In keeping with the jam packed techniques and ideas in the online card class for Clean & Simple, Day 1 also focused on negative die cuts and using the what ordinarily would be the leftovers from die cutting on cards. 

Howzzat value for money? Maile Belles desined a card which I totally cased! .. My version is a bit busy ( I think its the Merci paper I chose) but hopefully gets some practice in for using this technique which I love! 

I have been using PTU basic white paper which is fab. It's nice and thick and doesnt collapse as a stand-alone card. The sentiment is from SU hostess set 'Afterthughts' and the ribbon is your stock standard white polyester ribbon from the local $2 shop... That Merci paper is a 6x6 pack I got from Big W. They come in single colour packs which is good when you know you want a colour and dont have to make your own designer paper... Oh, and the die is also from PTI 'Wonderful words die collection'. I luurve them and have been using them lots.. especially "Happy" on birthday cards. It can give geat dimension and texture to an otherwise very basic card. Well that was point here! Its always so hard to put my cards next to fab cardmaker's but I'm biting the bullet ... Go easy on me, it was my first go!

Happy stampin!

Online Card Class

Just in time for the last week of my quasi-holidays I signed up for an awesome card class called Clean & Simple which has been so informative and fun! Check out some of my posts uploading different daily techniques!
Each day there is a number of different techniques, so many in fact I have been unable to keep up! That said, here's a few of my more recent attempts... 

Day 1 was about using existing sketches, one of which was using the masking technique. Here is my version - HINT Life is much easier with masking paper.. its on my next order!
I had previously purchased SU's Kiwi Kiss cardstock and was regretting it, but can I say I'm starting to fall back in love with it - particularly when you want a 'cheerier' colour than my all time favourite green - Old Olive. I used tons of post it notes to to mask this square and stamps the PTI harvest berries stamp around the outer rim. The faux stitching is just with that trusty white gel pen and three rhinestones - viola! (that said it took me ages because I'd never really masked like that before). It's quite addictive, but from now on with masking paper!

The sentiment is from my go to small sentiment from SU - Short & Sweet. It's not my favourite card, but its a work in progress...

Happy stampin peeps! Anne-Marie x

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Apologies for the lengthy absence....

For those few of you who (I hope) have not forgotten me totally here in my little patch of blogland, I'd like to apologize for such a lengthy absence.

As it turned out, my wonderful vivacious grandma who helped raise me developed very progressive dementia and needed effectively round the clock care. It felt rewarding to be able to return a little of the love and care she showed me all my life when she in return needed me.. Sadly however, as a result of a number of pre-existing health issues, she passed away just three months ago.

It's taken a while to get back on the proverbial horse, but as you crafters know, this hobby can be quite therapeutic! So I have been enjoying creating again and hope to bring you some of those creations on a more regular basis.

I also have been working on an exciting new project which will be unveiled soon... Watch this space!