Joe’s Birthday Card

July 26th, 2013

Just a quick post tonight, of our friend Joe’s (short for Joanne) birthday card:

JoJo's birthday butterflies

JoJo’s birthday butterflies

I was actually inspired to do this card by this website (she has it as a gorgeous wedding card). I did my own take, but LOVED the green theme she used, so had to go with that! :) My butterfly die gave me all kinds of troubles since they are soooo hard to pop out, but I got there in the end.

Ok, will post more paper club stuff soon, but for now, it is bedtime, as we are checking out the open day at the leisure centre tomorrow (with a trial Zumba!). So I might die. :)

Night!

-C

Product Review: Super Trimmer by Tonic

July 13th, 2013

Hi again! Today I want to write a little post about a product I recently purchased to use with PaperWorks!, my Friday morning paper craft club.

Paper crafters everywhere will know that a decent paper trimmer and/or guillotine is a must have tool in your crafty stash. (Some people prefer to use a craft knife and straight edge – you still need to have a decent blade.) Recently, the Fiskars one we were using broke (the guide wire snapped) and it was thrown away. I had to have a replacement for my Club to use, so decided to try the Tonic Super Trimmer, as it also comes with a scoring blade included. Bonus!

Or so I thought.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the scoring blade at all. The cutting blade, however, is absolute rubbish! We used it for one session, and it was leaving the edges of our card/paper with very rough edges – which is fine if you were going for the “distressed grungy” look, but most times we weren’t. I could understand if the blade had undergone heavy use, but it hadn’t.

Needless to say, I am very dissatisfied with this product, which is a shame, because normally I would trust a name like Tonic for all my craft tool needs. In fact, all other tonic products I have ever used I’ve been more than happy with. But on this occasion, we are going back to the trusty Fiskars – I only wish it was the rotary trimmer, but we don’t sell that one in store – it is the one I use at home, however. I’ll keep the Tonic for the scoring blade, but if you are looking for a decent trimmer, stay away from this one.

More cards in a bit!

-C

So, yeah. Hi! (& Colour Match Embellishments)

July 3rd, 2013

So, I keep meaning to use my blog, really I do.

Since last October, I’ve been running a “paper craft club” at work on Friday mornings, and it has been awesome. Recently, I exchanged email addresses with one of my regular ladies, and she sent me a link to her blog… so now I’ve been motivated to actually use mine also. (Hi, Val!)

My paper club (PaperWorks! :D ) meets on Friday mornings from 10am to 12noon, and it is a lot of fun for me. Usually I try to have a project, technique, or theme for us to work with. It is amazing how much time I can spend preparing for my Fridays and I love doing it! I do feel like that I’m doing exactly what I am meant to be doing in the store when I run it. I have at least 10 regulars who come almost every Friday, and a handful of people who drop in every now and then. (And some are on holiday for the summer.) There are all levels from “experienced” to “never made a card before” – but they all seem to thoroughly enjoy their time with me – and I with them. I find it immensely satisfying to inspire them to create, and maybe try new things that they have never done before, or to see their “stash” in a new way. I get to showcase products we carry in the store (though, I find more and more that there are some things that we don’t carry, that I wish we did, because I’d love to be able to use them!).

The projects or techniques I choose, I usually find from craft books/magazines or the internet. I always make sure and tell everyone that these things I am showing them are NOT from my own brain, but things other people have discovered and now I am passing on. I wish I were that clever to come up with half the stuff that is out there. I always try to give credit where credit is due.

Today I will share one of the techniques that we tried a few months back – it is something I saw in one of my craft books (Exquisite Embellishments for Paper Crafts – an Annie’s Attic publication. Link to the book on Amazon.) but there are people who have posted about this on the internet too: Custom Coloured Embellishments.

Sometimes you just need things to match perfectly. I made this simple Hello card and wanted embellishments that matched the stripey patterned paper that I used:

Simple Spiral Hello

Simple Spiral and Stripes Hello Card

And here are the supplies that you will need:

Supplies

Supplies I used (I couldn’t remember the exact marker colours…)

The list:

  • card blank and envelope (I used a 3.5 inch by 3.5 inch one)
  • scraps of white card
  • spiral punch (or another shape you like)
  • white ribbon (in this case, a satin, but experiment with different types)
  • white pearls
  • black pen (or stamp/ink pad if you don’t like your own writing)
  • patterned paper of choice
  • alcohol-based markers to match (I use/have Pro-Markers, but you could use Copics or Spectrum Noir, etc)
  • adhesives (I used both a wet adhesive – Quick-Dry Adhesive by Scotch/3M – and double sided tape)
  • scissors/trimmer (not shown)

Basically, everything except for the patterned paper started out white. I simply used my Pro-Markers to colour all the embellishments to match the colours of my stripes. (Tip: I have a handy colour chart I downloaded from Letraset which I colour in whenever I get new Pro-Markers. Makes it soooo easy to colour match then without having to go through them all to find the right one. :) ) For the punched spirals, I coloured scraps of white card and then punched. The green behind the spirals are also white card that I coloured.

It is amazing what you can come up with simple WHITE embellishments/card and some markers! (Tip: you can also use your ink pads to colour ribbon by running the ribbon between your finger and the ink pad.)

Examples

Some examples – don’t be afraid to multi-colour your ribbon, like on the Happy Birthday one!

The “ruffle ribbon” is achieved with a line of double-sided tape, and then just folding and tucking the ribbon whilst sticking it down (easier to show than explain! :) ) The pearls on the card where actually baby-blue not white to start with. And yes, you can do buttons too!

Have fun!

-Crys

 

Piggy Decopatch

July 30th, 2011

So at work, we got a new range in called “Decopatch” which is where you tear up bits of paper and glue them to mache shapes… I call this “decopauge” (sp) but that means something else (finely cutting images and stacking them up to give a 3d effect) apparently.

Anyway, since my friend Jo(e)’s bday was coming up, and she likes pigs, I decided I would try this Decopatch-ing on a pig… Only I couldn’t decide what paper to use, so ended up with two patterns and two pigs. The glue gave me a bit of a headache, even though it is non-toxic, safe for children, and odourless… My manager thought it was maybe because I was concentrating so long (each pig took me two hours to complete, due to being small with fiddly round bits to go around). I finished them off with bows and black adhesive gemstones for eyes. Here are the pics! Click on them for larger!

Two Pigs

Two Pigs

 

Poink one, colour seems to be a bit washed out...

Poink one, colour seems to be a bit washed out...

 

White Pig, My fave one.

White Pig, My fave one.

A Series of Three

July 15th, 2011

It has been awhile, let’s see if I can remember how to do this… I have my brother’s wedding stationery to put here too, but I just don’t want to at the moment. Long story. Though I guess where else would you write a long story except on a blog? Anyway… My friend Jo(e) asked me to make her 3 cards last week, so here they are…

New Home Card

New Home Card

So, here is one of them, for someone who is moving into a new home. I used my CraftROBO (his name is ROBOrto, or ROB for short ;) ) to cut out the letters. They are fairly small, about 1/4 in height for the uppercase H. I’m well impressed with what ROB can do… though not so impressed with what I did with this card. ;)

Happy 30th Birthday

Happy 30th Birthday

Here we have a 30th birthday card for a lady. ROB also cut out the numbers 3 and 0 for me! Isn’t  he a sweetie? I do like how this one came out.

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

And last but not least, my favorite of the three – a Happy Anniversary card. The butterfly was cut out twice on my BigShot – once through cream handmade paper, and then again through vellum. Attached the vellum one with some iridescent glitter glue… hey, if the adhesive is going to show, might as well be pretty! :D The background was embossed also with my BigShot and dragonfly embossing folder. Sentiment was stamped and heat embossed on vellum, then attached to handmade paper.

In other news, I’ve been going through my craft supplies and trying to purge and resort. We are in the process of buying a house, so I hope I can find a better solution to my organisation so that I am crafting and being creative a lot more. My current system of having everything stacked up on top of each other just doesn’t work. So we will see what we come up with! (I say “we” because my husband, Peter, will certainly be involved in helping me to create a better solution! :) ) So I hope to have more to post in the future. :) Bye for now!

A Labor of Love

August 10th, 2010
So I had this going already, and WordPress decided to eat it. Thanks for that. What is the use of “save draft” if you can’t retrieve it?

Anyway, I see I haven’t posted since before my interview. I got my job, and whilst I love my job, I have been exhausted trying to get used to working again.

But this post isn’t about that. It is about what has been occupying my time for the past couple of months. My dear friend, Kara, is due to have a baby any day now, and I wanted to create a special keepsake for her. So, I went about making her a baby (scrap)book that she can just pop photos into – but not only did I make one for her, but for her own mother as well. You see, Kara is from Canada, but is living here in the UK as she’s married to a British man. But her mum lives in Canada, but is here for a few weeks to help out, and I thought she would also like a book to take back to Canada to show off to friends and family. The books are pretty much identical.

This is going to be an extra long post, as there are 20 pages (plus the cover)  so apologies in advance, but I hope that you enjoy viewing my pages and maybe gain some inspiration from them. I know I am very pleased and proud at how they came out. Click on the thumbnails to view the larger image. Also, sorry, but I couldn’t figure out how to get the thumbnails to sit side by side on the double page spreads, which would have been so much better. OH WELL. Stupid thing.

cover

cover

1a. This is the front of the album. I used Papermania’s “Salisbury” in Lavender. It is an 8×8 inch fabric covered album that comes with 10 page protectors for 20 sides/pages. The lettering/wording are some fabric “motifs” that you normally sew or iron on. I just used glue and glue dots. Kara and Nick have referred to the bump as “Mr Baby” since they found out they were pregnant, not knowing if it was a boy or a girl.

Family Tree

Family Tree

1. This is the “Family Tree” page. I did not actually attach the leaves, but included them in a little pouch so they could write family names on them and attach them themselves (so they could use as many or as few as they want). Did I mention that everything is cut by hand? I would have killed for my die-cutting machine for this project!

Dad Page

Dad Page

Mom Page

Mom Page

2a&b. I’m sure all this is self-explanatory, but these are the pages that tell about mom and dad. The big white space is for them to include a photo of themselves, and to fill in what is relevant – I think it will be interesting for them to read it in 20 years time! :)

Hello

Hello

World

World

3a&b. Hello World! This is sort of a geeky homage, as both Nick and Kara are geeks themselves. The big cloud on the Hello side is for the little one’s photo. The small clouds on the World side are glittery, though I don’t know that you can tell from the scan.

World of Warcraft 1

World of Warcraft 1

World of Warcraft 2

World of Warcraft 2

4a&b. More geekiness, as we play World of Warcraft with Kara, we had to include something WoW-themed in the book! The first page is a screenshot of the “Achievement Window”, and we edited it to say “Obtain a Level 1 Human”. The second page, the background is a screenshot of the human starting zone in the game, and then I’ve created a “character portrait window” from the game, with paper. The small circle is the “head/face” photo, and the big black area is meant for the full body image. This is obviously very “stylized” but I think it came out very cute. Not to mention the “tool tip” in the corner about the abilities of the Level 1 Human! :) (That’s what we’ve been referring to Mr. Baby as. One of our guildmates even got them a shirt with a “quest window” on the front, and Level 1 Human on the back! SO CUTE.) Sorry if it looks a bit blurry – it looks really nice in person! (think it must be the 3d embellishments – hard for the scanner to focus on what is behind.)

Shine

Shine

Twinkle

Twinkle

5a&b. Sorry about the blurryness on the Shine page – really think the 3d elements make it hard for the scanner. Anyway, the Shine page took AGES as there are so many layers. Baby’s photo goes into the orange circle on the sun. Since Shine was so “busy”, I wanted it’s opposite, Twinkle, to be a bit more “subdued”. I’m surprised that you can see the effect I achieved on the background of Twinkle, and glad, because it is officially my new favorite technique! I started out with a piece of plain black cardstock. Then I took a bit of blue mica pigment powder (that my SIL, Katy, got for me! <3 ) and mixed it with water to make a watery “paint”, I took a paint brush and with a “swirling” motion, painted the cardstock – it looks AWESOME and so perfect to add just a touch of dimension to this otherwise quiet page. Baby’s photo goes inside the star.

Little Child 1

Little Child 1

Little Child 2

Little Child 2

6a&b. Little Child is a poem I wrote. All the blank squares are just for whatever photos they want to include.

Precious Moments 1

Precious Moments 1

Precious Moments 2

Precious Moments 2

7a&b. Precious Moments – I wanted to do a black and white layout, and thought that black and white baby photos would look really nice on these pages (or on any of the pages really!) – but obviously they can put what they want! ;) But I know that Nick likes to get a bit arty with his photos sometimes, so thought he might enjoy these pages. :)

Tiny Toes

Tiny Toes

Tiny Hands

Tiny Hands

8a&b. For photos of baby’s feet and hands. :) Very simple looking pages – but pairing up and attaching those TINY TINY feets and hands took SO LONG. lol

Wee Togs 1

Wee Togs 1

Wee Togs 2

Wee Togs 2

9a&b. Wee Togs! Oh the dilemna, because whilst they are “pretty sure” they are having a girl, they don’t KNOW for sure, and I wanted to do a layout with baby clothes… but everything is either boy or girl related! (This needs to be remedied – hello any of you out there in the embellishments industry??? We need some neutrals baby stuff too!) So what was I to do? Well. I think this solved the issue nicely, by mixing both pink and blue together.

Love Notes 1

Love Notes 1

Love Notes 2

Love Notes 2

10a&b. I wanted to have a layout where Kara and Nick could write some messages, or first thoughts, etc for Mr Baby to read later. I struggled with the actual design for awhile, until one night when I was in the shower it came to me (like great ideas always do ;) ) - to put an envelope on the page with some pieces of paper for them to write on – so that is what the second page is. It has an envelope made out of handmade paper, with some papers inside for them to write on. This way, they don’t have to be stressed about making “mistakes” directly on the page, and their personal messages can remain hidden if they wish them to be.

Shh... Sweet Dreams

Shh... Sweet Dreams

11. This is the last page in the album. A photo of baby sleeping is meant to go inside the cloud.

Well, that’s it. I hope you have enjoyed viewing the book! I was a little bit sad to have to give them away, but also very proud and pleased with how this project turned out. I know the scans don’t do these pages justice – seeing them in person is something else, but not really an option for most of you out there. :) Thanks for looking and let me know if you have any questions or issues viewing!

-Crys

I Am Really Bad…

February 3rd, 2010

… at this blogging thing. *sigh* But it is my hope to again find my creativity and post more, whether it be in the PSP/Graphics area, or more cards/crafts, or both! I have an interview this Friday at a craft store, and I really hope that I get the job, so I can be surrounded by things that inspire me. :)

Happy Birthday, Pat!

September 12th, 2009

Today is my friend, Pat’s, 60th birthday. I made her a virtual card, since she lives in Australia, then thought it would make an excellent “paper”/background for a scrapbook page of someone’s birthday photos. Here is a preview:

Preview of 12 x 12 paper.

Preview of 12 x 12 paper.

Here is a preview of the detail:

Detail of Birthday Dirt

Detail of Birthday Dirt

If you want the 12 x 12 paper done in 200ppi, download it here. And as a bonus, how about a png sheet of the silly mouse-drawn flowers I did? Download those here.

Pat has a birthday, and you get presents! Woo! Enjoy!

New Card Shop

August 23rd, 2009

I have a new shop where I am selling my cards. I haven’t sold any yet, but I highly reccommend ShopHandmade.com if you have handmade things to sell. Listing is free, and you choose how much to pay them (even nothing!) if/when something sells. So, nothing to lose, unless you don’t list your stuff there. Here is my shop: Paper Romance at ShopHandmade.

Made More Glitter…

August 22nd, 2009

I was playing around with the glitter again and made some more. The only reason I am putting even more up is because of the very rich “bronze/copper” one that I am in love with – looks awesome on a black/dark background, it really pops! And also the “black” glitter, which is the opposite of what I was trying to achieve – which was white. The white ones didn’t work out so well though, so none of those to post. Here is the preview of the 5 “add on” presets to the prior collection:

Click for a larger view!

Click for a larger view!

And you can download the presets here.

Enjoy!