Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Autumn flower

It's quite a coincidence that the new challenge at Craft Room Challenge is "Seasonal colours" because I already had all the elements of this card sitting on my work table this morning, where I'd left them last night in the hope that an inspiration particle would strike me overnight after several failed attempts to arrange them into a layout that pleased me. I'd been playing around with dies yesterday, to make a card for Make My Monday, and these elements were the result of some of my playing.

Then lying awake at 4am, as you do, I remembered a pack of card blanks I'd bought years ago that turned out to be far too flimsy to actually make into cards, but I loved the colours and textures of the paper (I won't give it the honour of being called card) so much that I couldn't bear to part with them. Why not cut one up and use it as a background? So that's where the lovely, slightly textured coppery brown background comes from.

Dancing dragonflies

This week's challenge at Make my Monday is Die Cuts and Punches. This pleases me greatly as I'd promised myself that this week I would spend some time working through some of the "Friday Die-Day" tutorials on the gorgeous blog from Christine Emberson, Hope and Chances. One recent one featured a very striking CAS dragonfly card.

Have I ever mentioned that I love dragonflies? Er, what's that - "incessantly"? OK, I may have mentioned it in passing just a *few* times. I've got dozens of dragonfly stamps, and many, many images on CDs, but until recently  I didn't have a dragonfly die at all. After seeing the tutorial on Hope and Chances I bought one right away and this week I have created my own version of the card that the talented  Christine showed on her blog.

Exciting news - and a tutorial

I'm delighted to be able to announce today that I have joined the Design Team of the Cards4Guyz challenge blog and this is my first DT post.

If you're not familiar with Cards4Guyz, it is a weekly blog challenge for male themed projects only. I think we're all agreed that making cards for men is much harder than for women, and I've learned  a huge amount about making cards for men in the few months that I've been joining in the challenges so I was delighted when Caz accepted me on to her team.

Here is my first DT card, made for this week's challenge which is No Balls Allowed (Sport). As a fan of motor racing, I immediately thought of Motor Sport and found a great image and backing papers on the La Pashe CD "Something for Everyone". The image, but not the papers, is also available as a decoupage sheet download.

A few days ago I spotted a great tutorial for making a Twisted Card on the Whiff of Joy blog. I immediately thought how useful it would be for man-cards, as I've often found that cards with a bit of engineering in them appeal to men. They spend ages folding and unfolding them to see how they work! So to make this card I followed the detailed instructions which you will find on the link above, but adapted it to a sheet of A4 to give a bigger card. The only drawback with the bigger card was it was difficult to score as it was longer than my ruler or scoring board - but I dug out my old yardstick and used that to score the long diagonal line.

Here is a series of step-by step pictures taken as I went along. A few of tips for you - when you've completed the basic card, make a pencil note on the surfaces you want to cover with paper before unfolding it to do the covering. Draw around the panels onto your background paper, making sure you have arranged it so that the right side of the paper faces the right direction (I got this bit wrong the first time and wasted a sheet of paper because the flags were pointing downwards!). If you are planning on making several cards of this type, you could make a blank card from that old piece of fluorescent pink card in the bottom of your stash pile (I know you have one, we all do) and cut it into separate panels, trimming it down to the size you want to cut your papers to, depending on how much layering you like to do.



The topper and greetings need to be added after re-folding the card to get the positioning right. The finished card:

and inside:
I added Glossy Accents to the car to make it shiny - that seems to be my new favourite trick!
I think this style of card would be great as a gift card holder, as you could tuck the gift card between the two layers on the inside
Well, after all that, I had all the decoupage from the image sheet left, as well as some of the backing papers. So what was there to do but make another card?

I'm joining in with

CD Sunday Challenge - Birthday card for a male (with the second card in this post)
Crafting at the Weekend - Anything Goes
Tok Bobok - Masculine
 Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge - September

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Let it snow

A simple embossed panel to emphasise the words "Let it Snow" - that's all this card needed!

I'm joining in with:

Less is More - Mostly Words
Completely Christmas - Anything Goes

A Happy Accident

It's often said about crafting that "there is no such thing as a mistake, just a happy accident" and I'm sure that like me you groan in despair thinking of all the mistakes you've made that were anything BUT happy. But today's mistake really DID turn into a happy accident.

I'd been thinking about what to mane for my next FoilPlay DT post,  and thought about some old sheets of medium sized glue dots that I've had lurking around my craft stash for years. I thought that by applying the whole sheet to a piece of background card and then foiling it, I would get a neat symmetrical pattern of dots that would make an interesting background. So I chose a pretty pink topper to use with my planned background and applied my dots to some white card.

Maybe my glue dots were too old, or maybe I pressed them down unevenly, I don't know, but some of the dots didn't transfer, some came away bringing bits of the background card away and some went distorted and squishy. I was just a bout to throw the whole thing away when I had one of those "What if....." moments and decided to foil it anyway and see what it looked like.

The result was a rather interesting distressed looking panel - totally unsuitable for the design I'd planned, but definitely something interesting to work with. I emphasised the distressed effect by tearing the edges then embossing them with gold power. I could have foiled them but my gold EP is quite thick and would add extra texture to the piece. 

By now it had an interesting vintage look to it, so I picked out a few elements from a Hunkydory kit, added a doiley and some buttons and have ended up with a vintage style dressmaking themed card which has all come about as the result of my initial experiment having gone wrong!

I'm joining in with

Crafty Creations Challenges - Vintage
Crafting Musketeers - Use Buttons

Saturday, 27 September 2014

It's a hoot!

Here's another card I made from the free papers and decoupage that were in one of last Christmas's magazines. This time it's an easel card, and the "Snowflake flowers" are cut with a flower die and the smallest element of a stacking snowflake set. The die I used for the leaf/pine sprigs is, erm, a blue one. I can't be more specific than that because I've had it for years, but I think it was part of a set from Marianne Creatables.

I'm playing along with Completely Christmas Challenge #31 - Anything Goes (how have they managed to have 30 challenges before a Christmas freak like me found  out they existed?)
and Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #196 - Make it Colourful  as well as Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra for September

Friday, 26 September 2014

The end of a long night

... and what does Santa do when all the presents are delivered? Well he pulls off his boots and relaxes in front of the fire with a mug of cocoa, of course.

I made this card using papers and decoupage that came free with a magazine last Christmas, following one of the suggested makes in the magazine because I thought it looked so sweet.

With lots of matting and layering and lots of layers in the decoupage, I'm popping into the latest Winter Wonderland challenge which is Layer it Up.