Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rosette Tip and Christmas Cards

I have created a few cards for the March 2012 Christmas Card Challenge in the Waltzingmouse Stamps Forum, which is to use the colours blue and brown on our cards. In the process, I stumbled upon a clever way to help in the assembly of paper rosettes (near end of post).

My first attempt with this colour combination was only so-so. It's a card for Santa to leave behind on Christmas Eve. I adore the vintage border stamp that I used to create the background "wallpaper" with Vintage Sepia Versafine ink.

Not sure if you noticed, but the "tree" set is actually Santa's shoe! Here's the heel:

I tried again, using the current Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge sketch for my layout. (See the two snowflakes in the background?)

You might notice this is a tad grungy. I am currently taking the Tim Holtz Creative Chemistry 101 online class, exploring techniques using a number of his products. When I made this card I was messing around with Distress Inks, so went a little crazy with the Vintage Photo and Walnut Inks! I used a new stamp that looks like striped ticking on the right hand side of the stamped background. Love that new stamp!

For my third and final Blue and Brown Card for Christmas I had the itch to make a rosette.

I happened to use a Tim Holtz die to make mine, but you can make these easy enough by accordion-folding a long strip of paper. For this card, I used two strips to create a large rosette. In doing so, I discovered a neat trick.

After I joined the ends of the long strip together, I needed to press down on the center of the vertical standing rosette to make it lie somewhat flat, and then attach an anchoring base such as a disk of paper to stabilize the rosette and maintain its circular shape. I tend to be all thumbs with this maneuver.

Inspiration struck! I spied a spool of tape on my table and realized the large circular opening would nicely corral my rosette, freeing up both hands to glue the base down. (I realize if you have not made a paper rosette, this won't make any sense. But for those of you who have, you'll get the "Aha!" moment I had.)

Spool of tape.
Creative Memories circle making tool.
The spool of tape worked well, but was a little large for my rosette, so I tried an acrylic Creative Memories Circle Template tool with a slightly smaller hole and it worked perfectly. 
Then I started looking around for other items, and this small roll of tape with a standard size hole was perfect for smaller rosettes. The circular shape holds the rosette snugly, and gives me the option of distributing my accordion folds evenly before glueing down the base piece (seen below in the upper right corner).

Hope this tip is helpful to you! Thanks for stopping by and scrolling all the way down here to the end!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Simple" Wedding Album

It's been a looooong time since I have made a book from scratch. I enjoy it, but it takes time, which seems to be at a premium. So I had to fight back panic when asked to make a wedding photo album for my dear friends' daughter. The challenge (besides being a Very Important Piece) was that the bride was in the UK and I am in Canada and her mom is in the US. So soliciting user requirements was problematic. How big should it be? How many pages? Style? Colour? All these things are difficult to determine long distance. Here is what I made:

Finished wedding album, 9 X 13 inches.
Karen wanted a simple, clean album with "Our Wedding" on the front cover. Landscape orientation. Dark blue, with dark blue pages. Silver accents. Originally she hoped to have her wedding party and guests (it was a small affair) sign directly in the book with a silver pen. I advised her to use loose slips of paper instead, so that if someone made a mistake, a page would not be ruined, and giving her the freedom to place their greetings wherever she'd like.

As I had no idea how many pages she would need, I decided on a post-bound album (two posts) with extenders and extra pages that could be removed if needed.
View from top of spine and hinged pages.
The posts are recessed under flaps so when one opens the album, they are not visible, but easy to access. The covers, spines and returns are made from Davey board, covered with navy blue bookcloth. The insides were covered with petal-inclusion handmade paper.

Album opened (inside back cover on right).
A project like this takes a lot of pre-planning. I'll admit I created a mock up from cereal boxes.  I used Canson Mi-teintes paper that I cut down from 19x24 inch sheets for the inside pages. I knew I needed to hinge the covers and the pages so when the pages are turned they would lay flat. This meant the page needed to be cut apart, spaced out and then hinged together again.

Enter self-adhesive black linen hinging tape that I acquired from Quietfire Design. (I also got the four silver colour corner guards from there.)
I needed to get the hinge space accurately and consistently measured before I laid down the tape. I discovered my Perfect Layers Tool was, well, perfect for this task. I wanted all 20 pages to be the same.

Lipped Perfect Layers Tool for spacing.

Removable tape in place.
Removable tape helped keep the paper from shifting.
Hinging tape laid down (both sides).
I made the piece of paper to the left extra wide so I could fold it back on itself before punching the two holes for the posts and inserting into the spine. This is to create extra space between the pages to accommodate the bulk of the photos, notes and mementoes that would be inserted. I also created a pocket page for the last page in the book for any other items (napkins, copy of vows, etc.).

When I made the cover, I created an opening and inserted a piece of pewter that I hand-embossed. The font was the one used for the wedding invitation. I found a free font service and was able to type in the words and have them converted to the font. As my printer is not working (updated my iMac software and lost printer functionality in the process!)
I pulled the title up on my iPad and traced it off the iPad screen with tracing paper! Where there's a will, there's a way!

Pewter insert.
I wanted to include a card that was simple and elegant to match the style of the album. I used Waltzingmouse Stamps to silver emboss the text on a scrap of the same paper used for the inside pages of the album, then die cut the label with a Spellbinders Nestabilities die. I ran around the edge with StazOn Silver Metallic Ink. I dry embossed the Scrollwork frame in my Cuttlebug. 

I used a metallic silver and dark blue layer to frame all with my Perfect Layers Tool.  I wasn't able to present this gift in person, but I have since heard that the happy couple were pleased with the album. Now I can relax!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bonus Tag Card

Remember this card I made recently? I was thrilled to learn it won a Top Mouse award at the Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge Blog last week!
After that project, I had lots of bits and pieces lying about my worktable, so I pulled them together to make a bonus card. The ribbon that I dyed with the Persimmon Distress Ink Pad left quite a bit of dye on my Teflon craft sheet, so I plunked a tag down on that ink to sop it up, then heat set it. I then stamped over top with a new Waltzingmouse Stamps chicken wire stamp I just purchased.

I layered some sheer ribbon on the bottom of the tag and hung an itty bitty butterfly off of it with a jump ring. I placed some lace over sticky tape and filled the lacy pattern with sage glitter, pressing it into the tape.

Layered the tag on some sage pin dot paper using my Perfect Layers tool, and then some peachy yellow polka dot that I distressed with Shabby Shutters ink. I was quite pleased with this bonus project from my leftovers:

4.25 X 5 inch card

I just realized this card works for the current Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge, so I am entering it there! I must have been subliminally influenced!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

WMS Blog Party

It's time for the...
The theme this month is appropos. WMS is a small homebased stamp company located in Ireland. So the month of March brings the theme St. Patrick's Day / Irish. I chose to use a WMS free digital image that I downloaded and printed out last year when I had the best of intentions to join the party. One year later, I got around to using it. It's a lovely bouquet of shamrocks. I have left off a sentiment so I can use this for any occasion.

I coloured the image with Copics. The background is stamped repeatedly with a WMS border stamp, a sort of rattan weave. I stamped in pale mauve chalk ink and then overstamped in darker purple chalk ink. Then I sponged the same ink around the edges. A 1/16 inch mat of dark green echoed the label frame. I made a slit in the fold of the card for the sheer ribbon to thread through. This is my first attempt at making some pretty stick pins. I recycled some old costume jewellery for the beads.

There's still time to join the party. Head over to the WMS blog and link up your creation. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 16, 2012

WMSC #88

Just squeaking in for the latest Waltzingmouse Sketch Challenge, which was based on this sketch by Renee Lynch:

I used Copics to colour the flowers and their mottled yellow and green background. I used my Perfect Layers tool to create graduated borders.

I stamped "shoulders" at the top of these frame images, but they are covered by the bows. The bows are rayon seam binding that I dyed with a Persimmon Distress Ink Pad. Here's the full card:
4 X 9 inch (fits in #10 envelope)

Am also entering this in the Stampalicious Bouquets of Flowers Challenge.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Four Trees

5.5 inch square

The four trees are ages-old stamps by Hero Arts. I was feeling nostalgic and wanted to make something with some neglected stamps. I stamped them with Delicata Golden Glitz pigment ink on plain white cardstock, then cut and embossed with Spellbinders square Nestabilities.

The shine and shimmer of this ink is so difficult to capture in a photo, but here I have tilted the cardstock to try and show its effect.

I also used my Perfect Layers tool to border the squares with metallic green cardstock before layering onto purple. The sentiment is stamped in a purple Colorbox chalk ink. It's an Impression Obsession stamp - another oldie, but goodie.
Thanks for visiting today!

Peach and Teal

I adore these peaches from Flourishes. They look good enough to eat! I coloured them with Versacolor pigment inks and Copics, then fussy cut them out.

This sentiment is from the same stamp set. The glass cabochon adds a little "somethin' somethin'" to the doily.

I used a number of layers of cardstock (making this eligible for the 3 or more layers challenge at the Pink Elephant) from the Coral Couture stack that I picked up at my local stamp store. Expect to see more cards made with this new purchase! The Perfect Layers tool makes this kind of layering a breeze!
Here's the finished card.

It was inspired by this Tuesday Trigger from the Moxie Fab World blog:

And the Flourishes blog's Timeless Tuesday #159 Challenge. Thanks for stopping by.