Thursday, 29 October 2015

Offset gate fold card

Here the final 2 cards from my class that I held last Monday. I got here eventually! They are another take on the Offset gate fold card and utilises watercolouring techniques.

In this post you can have a look at how to construct this card. It's really easy but just adds a little something extra to your card design. Start with an A5 piece of card stock (A4 cut in half). Score along the long side at 6.5 and 17 cm. Fold on each score line in towards the middle. Make sure the edges butt up to each other before creasing firmly with a bone folder.


The Curvy Corner Trio Punch is great to use on the corners of the flaps. I have CASEd this idea from page 18 of the 2015 Stampin’ Up! Holiday catalogue. One thing to remember is that the scallop edge is not symmetrical. So that your scallops match (or mirror each other) always position the same edge of the cardstock in the same side of the punch. So to make these cards, I make sure that the long side is against the left hand edge of the punch guide. To do the other corner just flip the cardstock so that the long edge in the correct position.

 
Decorating the cards are easy. Grab some DSP, a banner triple punch and some stamped and die cut elements, layer them and stick them on the left hand flap. To add a pop of colour I have just used an aqua painter and some ink from the lid of a stamp pad on water colour paper. Start at the bottom edge of your shape and paint backwards and forwards moving slowly up. The colour will gradually lighten. Try not to overwork it.
 
 
 I really love the Typeset Speciality DSP by Stampin' Up! It is really versatile and gives a great backdrop to the watercolour elements.

 
The Blended Bloom stamp is perfect for watercolouring. Gorgeous Grunge has great stamps in the set to add detail to background. Crumb Cake cardstock with matching ink adds a subtle touch.

 
Creating a ribbon closure is easy with the Curvy corner trio punch. Rule a light pencil line across the front of the card where you would like your ribbon slot to be positioned. Line each flap up with your pencil line and punch a ribbon slot. Erase your pencil line. To keep the ribbon secure, anchor on the left hand flap with a glue dot or knot. Securing with the ribbon first makes it easier to decorate the front.

 
Silver cord trim is perfect for the closure. It is easy to rethread and tie.

 
PS - In my last post I mentioned that I am working on a tutorial and project kit for Christmas using the Peaceful Pines bundle. I had hoped to have it finished by now but have been really sick and have had to put it on the back burner, much to my disappointment. I have a lot of it done but hope to get it finished in the next few weeks. I am really happy with all of the projects but unfortunately lifes get in the way of crafting sometimes! 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Christmas Fancy Fold tutorial sneak peek for JAI #284

Any of you that come to my classes or follow this blog know that I love fancy folds. My favourite fancy folds are ones that fold flat to fit into a standard C6 envelope and when opened stand up for display. It means that your hard work gets to be admired (and you know we all secretly love that!) and the recipient has a reminder of the occasion for days to come. And it doesn't hurt that you only need one stamp to post it!

So when I read about this week's challenge at Just Add Ink I knew that it was right up my alley. The challenge is to simply Just Add a Fancy Fold JAI # 284. Which fold to choose though? I decided to show a sneak peek of a fold that will be part of a tutorial and kit that I will be launching next week all going well. This is called a Tea light Candle Tent Card.

 
It is a really simple yet effective fold that is so fun for Christmas. Once it is standing up you just put a battery operated tea light candle inside, turn the lights off and admire the card.

 
If you have been following my blog since earlier this year you will know that I had a few crafty goals. One of those was to sell project tutorials and kits online. Christmas is an ideal time to try this I decided.  I've been bit under the weather these last few weeks so I am a bit behind but hopefully next week I will have a tutorial to sell. I am at the stage where I should have listened to those wise people who suggested I start small. I seemed to have gone with the 'go big or go home' theory unfortunately!
 
My tutorial will be in the form of a PDF document and will have about 20 pages outlining 10 cards (3 fancy folds and 2 different versions of each and 4 simple but elegant card designs) and 10 tags. There will be a bonus 3D project as well. It is based on the Stampin' Up! products Peaceful Pines stamp set and Perfect Pines framelits dies. The tutorial has cutting guides so that you use everything with little waste - perfect for the home crafter or Demonstrator. There will be the option to buy the tutorial by itself, buy a material kit and get the tutorial free or buy the Peaceful Pines bundle, kit and get the tutorial for free.
 
I'm really excited about this and just need to finish photographing and checking everything. Check back late next week for a look at what I have to offer. The great thing about this is that you can order the tutorial from anywhere in the world as I email it to you and if you live in Australia you can order products and have them sent straight to you. Please note that the tutorial will be in metric.
 
So back to finishing my tutorial. Lou


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Watercolour Tent Calendar for #TGIFC25

Continuing on from my last post I have some more examples that the lovely ladies who attend my classes will have to choose from in our water colouring class. I was at a bit of a loss as to what other project I could do until I saw a post by Kelly Kent. I haven't made these type of calendars for a few years and thought they would work perfectly with this flower from Best Thoughts. So thanks Kelly! Make sure you check out Kelly's calendars when you get a chance.


You can read all about how I water colour in my previous post. For this sample I have used Elegant Eggplant and Wisteria Wonder on the petals and Old Olive and Mossy Meadow on the leaves. The calendar base is made using Crumb Cake and I have stamped splotches from the Gorgeous Grunge stamp set in Crumb Cake ink.


I added a layer of Crystal Effects to give it a bit of life. The jury is still out on whether I like the effect or not!


This sample has Pumpkin Pie and Tangelo Twist on the petals and Old Olive and Mossy Meadow on the leaves. These little tear off calendars can be found at most craft shops and online. I love that they come in the recycled paper.


I think that it also fits the bill for this week's inspiration challenge at TGIF - #tgifc25.

 

It is easy to make this calendar stand. Just follow the easy instructions below. The added bonus is that it folds flat and fits into a standard C6 envelope.

 
Tent calendar card instructions.
Cut a piece of A4 in half lengthways and fold in half to make a regular card size.
The base is made with a piece of cardstock 7 x 10.5 cm. Score along the short side and fold as per the diagram below.
 
Fold up your cardstock so that it is a concertina with the middle fold sitting up like a mountain. Apply tape to the 2 outside edges. This concertina gets attached to the bottom edges of the card inside to form a tent. Make sure that the middle fold is sitting up and the 2 outside folds are facing down.
Decorate as desired. This calendar will fit into a standard C6 envelope.


Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Water colouring with Best Thougths


For my next card making class I decided to give everyone a break from Christmas and ask for requests. So on Monday we will be doing some water colouring techniques using a lovely hostess stamp set called Best Thoughts.

These are 2 samples from the class.


It is a really fun and relaxing way to make a quick card (and look a bit arty along the way!).


This card fold is called an Offset Gate Fold. Instructions are at the end of this post.


I have a few tips for you but remember this is just a suggested way of colouring that works for me. It is a personal thing and you will develop a style that works for you. Some people reverse the order – i.e. start with the darkest colour first.
1.      Stamp your image on watercolour paper using the Basic Black Archival Stampin’ Pad. This ensures that your image won’t smear or bleed when you colour.

2.      Choose your ink pad colours. I like to work with a light and dark ink of the same tone such as Mossy Meadow and Old Olive. Test them out first to see how they work together as adding water to colours can make them separate if not a true primary colour.

3.      Squeeze each ink pad so that you transfer some of the ink from the pad to the lid. Use an Aqua Painter brush to pick up ink from the lid. These brushes are great as they hold water in the barrel. You can adjust the amount of water that comes out by the pressure you apply to the barrel. This allows you to adjust the strength of colour.


4.      Work on small areas at a time. If you are colouring a flower, focus on each petal rather than the flower as a whole. Work on one petal at a time. Use the lightest ink to colour the whole petal first.  Use the darker colour to fill in where there should be shadows. Think to yourself “Which part of the petal is under another?” That is where you add your dark colour.
5.      I like to use a dabbing and feathery motion with my Aqua Painter instead of a painting motion. This gives a more ‘watercoloury’ look with more variations of colour. You don’t need to blend the colours very much as the water helps merge the 2 colours naturally. From experience staring at one area for too long will convince you that it looks terrible. My advice is to just move to the next area and look back after it is dry and all complete. If you are just starting out and don’t like your efforts, just start again, relax and enjoy the process.  
6.      Try to vary the ratio of each colour strength. I usually do about 2/3 of the light and about 1/3 of the darker colour.
7.      A very light wash of Crumb Cake or Soft Sky around your image helps highlight it.
8.      My general order of painting flowers is:

1.  Light wash around image

2.  Paint leaves

3.  Paint petals – I start on the petal that stands out the most to me. Then I just work around from that.


For the leaves on this example I have used Mossy Meadow and Old Olive. The flower is painted with Blackberry Bliss and Rose Red.


The other sample has Cucumber Crush and Bermuda Bay on the leaves and Watermelon Wonder and Cherry Cobbler on the petals. I have stamped some random dots from Gorgeous Grunge around the red flower. To avoid stamping on the flower I have used the stamp sticker backing as a mask. It wipes clean and stores ready for the next time I need to used it.



I have added some stamped images on the Crumb Cake bases of each card using the matching ink. A white gel pen adds the finishing touches to the stamens.

Securing this gatefold card is easy. A small embellishment is placed on the smaller flap and the panel on the larger side is positioned so that it fits under the embellishment.



Offset gate fold instructions
Start with an A5 piece of cardstock. Score along the long side at 6.5 and 17 cm as per the diagram below. Fold each score line in towards the middle. Make sure the edges butt up to each other before creasing firmly with a bone folder.

I'll post the other examples over the next week.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Birthday Balloons for JAI#282

Today things seemed to be going along really well until I saw somewhere that there are only 79 days until Christmas. I should have looked yesterday. I'm sure that I would have felt much better about there being 80 days! So instead of going into a tail spin I decided to check the challenge sites that I like and decided that the inspiration challenge at Just Add Ink this week would be a great distraction.


The colours in this picture are so pretty. I used Melon Mambo, Basic Grey and Pink Pirouette to recreate the feel.


I have used the stripe from the Work of Art stamp set and the balloons are made using the Layered Letters Alphabet set. I had a few attempts to get the balloons to look randomly placed. In the end I punched five 1" circles from scrap, played with the arrangement until I was happy with them, then copied the layout with the stamps.


Can you see how the 'A' looks like it is hiding behind the 'H' balloon? I used one of my punched circles as a mask over the 'H' when stamping the 'A' in black Momento ink. My photos look a bit overexposed but I really liked how the silver cord trim sparkles in the sunlight. Perfect Sunshine Coast weather for us today!

 
The inside of my card is simple. I have used the 'birthday' stamp from Celebrate Today over my layered letters. (I also used that on the front to complete my greeting).


Note to self - DO NOT look at anymore countdown to Christmas Calendars!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

One design three ways

My aim today was to tidy my craft desk. I convinced myself that I could do that by using products, spare card kits and unused die cuts that were sitting on it! I still need to clean my desk but I have cleared away a small pile and have 2 cards for my efforts.

 
The card on the left is one that I shared at a demonstrator get together that I went to on the weekend. The kits were left over from that and I decided that instead of putting everything away I should make them up. I've already made one up as a wedding card and shared it here.

The card base is a regular piece of A5 folded in half and then has 2.5 cm cut off the front edge. I've used strips from the Winter Wonderland DSP pack on the inside edge. I like how it peeps through. They are, however, very hard to photograph and keep flat!


This is my original card. I made a few similar ones when I CASEd the current Stampin' Up! 2015 Holiday catalogue here. In this post you can find some hints for placing the holly and watercolouring the design.


For this wedding version I used some strips of Winter Wonderland DSP for the cake layers. The base is from the Build a Birthday stamp set. The 'wishes' is also from this set. I just inked that word and stamped 'wedding' which is from Celebrate Today. I added a light wash of Crumb Cake ink around the stand and card front edges. Flowers were punched using the flower from the Itty Bitty Accents punch pack. To get some dimension, I pressed the middle into a foam pad. That makes the petals curl up. I love being able to use products in different ways. This paper pack is not just for Christmas.


This bauble was left over from another project so I die cut the solid image, again from the Winter Wonderland DSP, and adhered them together. The Softly Falling embossing folder gives an elegant look.


Well....... I can't put it off any longer..... I need to go and remind myself what the colour of my desk is!

PS. I'm thinking of putting together a Christmas project kit which would be centred around a stamp and die bundle and a designer series paper pack. The kit will include instructions for different card designs and folds, tags and a few 3D projects, materials to make everything and have all of the thinking done for you. After you buy the kit from me (and hopefully the stamp and die bundle!) then all you would have to do is get out your card making equipment, ink pads etc., open up the instructions and get crafting. What do you think? My aim is to come up with a cutting list that has little or no waste and gives you maximum output. I think I would also sell the tutorial in PDF form as well. I'd love to hear from you if you are interested in finding out more.
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