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Showing posts from August, 2014

Using Ribbons

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I'm not a fussy sort of girl (hmm at the top of my 40s I don't know whether the term 'girl' is applicable any more...) but I do like ribbons.  I don't often use them, but I do like them.  I have a whole tub of them.   A very, very full, push down the lid sort of full, medium sized tub of them.   They are sure to come in handy, one day!  

I will admit to using a few ribbons on tags - the addition of the ribbon really dresses them up.   With cards though I tend to stick to a simple line of ribbon.  Although unexpectedly a bow sometimes appears....














Mixing it up

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Whilst we favour certain techniques, a monthly card challenge is a great way of having to try new things and stretch your abilities.   The more you do, the more proficient you become and when you start to mix it up, it works!   (I plainly recall it didn't always work!!)   If anything I think my girls are better at it than me as they have little in the way of preconceptions and just do what they want to do, or what looks right to them to do.  

Here are a couple of cards I made recently that combine things like punched shapes, stamping, patterned papers and embellishments - that go together without becoming too busy :)







White on White

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One of my card challenges recently was white on white.   This is NOT easy, yet its not hard either!   I think its a mental hurdle of getting over the need for colour.  



I found the replacement for colour was texture.   This is when some raised embossing came into its own.   And layering.  

I actually really enjoyed the white on white look and was rather disappointed when I realised I'd burned the midnight oil and if I didn't go to bed immediately I would imminently be turned into a pumpkin! ;)  (Please tell me you say that sort of thing in your house or otherwise I am going to sound pretty silly)!

Without further ado... here are some white on whites to encourage you to try it too!











Fun Papercrafting

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Cardmaking is great, I love it.  Each card is achievable in a reasonable amount of time (unless it all goes terribly wrong), they are small creations that give satisfaction to the maker and joy to the recipient.     They are a good excuse to buy papers, stamps, inks, punches et al.  

Papercrafting is a whole other ball game.  It is defined as the art of making something, usually three dimensional and artistic in form, from paper.  So cardmaking is really just a small portion of papercrafting.   

You can still use many of the same supplies, but your creations may be more along a project line, more time consuming - but once again satisfying and enjoyable!

One of my daughters (Twin 2) in particular loves to make things from paper and cardstock... and I'm not immune to her excitement :) 

We found the wonderful pootles.co.uk website where she has a fabulous array of video tutorials teaching how to make some very useful objects from papers (as well as cards).   The first one we tackled …

Pretty Patterned Papers

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Everyone likes pretty papers... don't they!?  I remember oohing and aahing over pretty papers as a child and my favourite place in the newsagent was looking at writing pads in the stationery section... and then when I found stores that specialised in paper products I was just in heaven!   I still have a sheet of wrapping paper that I must have bought from Granny May's way back in the early 80s LOL.  It is way to pretty to use!!



So this latest obsession of mine has allowed me free reign to buy more pretty papers and I'm in heaven :)   Of course sometimes you have to use them, if for no other reason than then you can buy some more!

Patterned papers come in a variety of ways - some in pads usually 6x6", some A4 and mostly 12x12" and some come as loose sheets.   Some are double sided with different patterns on both sides and some plain white on the back.  Some are quite thin and some are almost as heavy as cardstock. 

If they're not too flimsy you can use them as…

Using Sketches

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"Sketches"... another card/scrapping term that refers to a design that has been sketched out.  These are often used to challenge you.... make a card along the lines of the sketch.  Now I don't have a huge amount of experience with these, but I have learned from seeing other maker's cards, that these sketches are open to a fair amount of interpretation!

Here is the first sketch I was given:  The added level of difficulty was to make it in black, white and one other colour.



I was told to make THREE cards following the sketch and extra colour challenge.   So, I did.  Pretty darn closely... effectively only changing the colours and the sentiment.






I was a bit bored by the end of making three cards almost the same.  And with all those hearts I had no option but to stick to a love theme.    I was feeling very fortunate I had a three heart punch LOL.

Then I saw some of the other offerings sent in.  The hearts became butterflies, the flags moved up, down and disappeared, the…

Simple Stamping

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Making a card really doesn't have to be complex once you've got the basics sorted out.   Matting your card for structure and to give it a nice heft, and providing a place to write your greeting, along with a basically straight card base is about it.   Then decorate!


Sometimes its nice just to make a card with stamps.  Truly I have enough sets to stamp every day for a year and be able to use a new stamp every day.  Yes, its that bad LOL.  And sometimes all those extras you might feel like you need to add on to the card, get in the way and stop you from stamping anything but a quick sentiment.  



Don't be afraid to go back to basics and use some of your stash of stamps.  I know you have one!  ;)

Here are a few more cards I've made over the last year that have the emphasis on stamping images ...














Finding What You Like

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If you've been making cards for a while you will find you are repeatedly drawn to a couple of techniques that will become your speciality.       I have been drawn to watercolouring and colouring although in my recent efforts in swaps and challenges mean that  I've been doing lots of different techniques.  While I still watercolouring  I am wondering if that will become my favourite.



It's a bit like men I guess ... you've got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince... and with cards and papercrafting you have to try lots of techniques before you find the one for you.



I actually thought my daughters had their favourites - Twin 1 I thought for sure was sponging, but looking through her creations I see she has done regular stamping with some colouring, sponging and a combination of raised embossing and using the brayer.  There is also evidence of heat embossing.  At school in art she is not a bad painter and her lino prints this year were impressive.   



Twin 2 …

Fussy Cutting ... say what!?

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Another term I have learned over the last year is "fussy cut"... this means when you cut something out with fine sharp scissors, with a fair amount of detailed edges.


You might stamp an image on 3 different coloured backgrounds and cut certain pieces from each colour and then glue those pieces on to the final stamped image.   Or you may stamp an image and cut out all or a portion of it and glue it on to the card, often on dimensional double sided foam.  



This is not my favourite technique, but every so often it may come in handy and at least you know what it is now!






Time for the Big Guns.... Raised Embossing

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Raised embossing is cool.  It adds depth and detail without being overwhelming and can easily become the feature with only a simple addition or two.   But, (and its a big, costly but) this can only be achieved with a machine such as a Cuttlebug, Big Kick, Vintaj, Big Shot and other similar brands.    Cuttlebug is the smaller variety and the others are bigger machines.   Machines can be bought from $70-150 new and they retain a decent value second hand.  I believe there may be semi automatic machines as well but as I know nothing about them, I won't comment on those options :)


All these machines work by pressing dies or embossing folders into cardstock/papers as it goes through a roller that is operated by a hand crank.  

I started out with a well used, second hand Big Kick.  As it was well used the need for shims (extra sheets of cardstock to make it thicker when it ran through the roller) was paramount, otherwise I could run an embossing folder through and not get an imprint!    …