Monday, 30 November 2009

Music card

As I forgot to mention music sheets in my listings of useful paper I thought I would use it for Creative Crafts next challenge
It is also useful as yet again I am late sending a card to one of my nephews and as he is from a musical family this seemed appropriate, (although I'm not sure if he will know what the round black thing is!!!!!). The backing paper is salvaged from a promotional folder all the other bits are scraps and the music is from a damgaged music book, of which I have many in my piano stool......have got the stool, just haven't got the piano anymore......I was rubbish anyway!! The record is one of my husbands 45" singles which is collecting dust behind the sofa......and if you're reading this Steve..... of course I was careful! I scanned the record and reduced it in a word document. Again the sentiment is handwritten and the top notes have dots of black nail varnish on them.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Packaging Card.

I know this card looks like I am cheating using "proper craft stuff" but the stamp was a free gift on Quick Cards Magazine and you do not need an ink pad as it stamps beautifully using an waterbased black pen (felt-tip).
Just lightly brush the side of the pen over the image till all the raised area is covered, lightly huff the stamp (your breath will remoisten any dried bits) then press onto card. the only trouble with this is you will not be able to use watercolour techniques with the image as the lines will run and blur (forgot this and ended with a very grubby faced little girl with the first one I stamped!!!). Use a permanent dyed based ink pad if you have one if you wish to watercolour. I actually found it looked quite good just coloured with felt-tips, I would normally prefer the shading you achieve with watercolouring but as it is a small image the strong colours created quite and impact.

ANYWAY... I actually wanted to focus on the background as the background of the card is actually the packaging and a good example of being able to disguise any unwanted bits. I cut the top writing completely off and the writing in the bottom right corner is covered by the greeting (cut from an old Christmas card). The white card torn and decoupaged on the image is torn from the back of another an extra highlight I used the correction pen again. The card is finished with a scrap of wool and a piece of the ribbon from last years Christmas cake.

Thursday, 19 November 2009


As I have created Robbie using more than pens (for once) I thought it was time to explore paper for a bit. Paper is one of my addictions and I have stacks of beautiful backing paper and card that I regularly stroke!?! but all around the home is a variety of paper which is great to use on cards.

I recently went to a D.I.Y. store and was collecting some gorgeous wallpaper samples to create a "feature" wall in my lounge....naturally these sample won't go to waste! And I had great excitement the other day when some halogen bulbs that I had ordered from the Internet arrived wrapped in Chinese newspaper....can't wait to see what I can do with that. I do have a box that I keep all my recycled cardmaking stuff in and it's full of paper and card that I have kept from packaging, magazines (Grazia is printed on lovely paper which has got a lovely soft look to it!), exercise books, folders, graph paper (there are free downloads of stationary style paper on the internet), wrapping paper, brown paper, even envelopes (some have some great patterns inside them).

I must be the only person who likes to receive junk mail, some glossy brochures are great for collage and always keep the return envelopes ....these can be turned into a card blank (will post an example later), plus the inside of many envelopes have some very interesting patterns, great for men's cards. Tissue paper, kitchen roll, serviettes even toilet paper are all also useful when making cards. And don't forget recycling commercial cards. IMPORTANT NOTE: Please remember not to use someone else's artwork or design for commercial use. I hope any artist or manufacturer is happy with people using their cards in another form before it ends up in the bin, especially as it is not for profit.
I find it useful to cut the greetings off cards and these become instant message plaques for your own designs. If the image on the front is not to your taste don't forget the reverse is most probably plain white and very useful for other projects, the back piece can also be used, even if it has printing in the centre, this can be covered with an image or embellishment. If you haven't got a base card, try covering the entire card in paper, matting the design on the front then perhaps using matching paper to cover any writing inside. (Envelopes can be made out of wrapping paper as I did with Robbie.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Roddy the Reindeer

Meet Roddy....... Rudolf's biggest brother!! He stems from a simple sketch of an oval. The card was created for Creative Card Challenges second challenge "Christmas fun". I thought it would be fun to have Roddy bursting out of a parcel.... his head wobbles as it is mounted on an arched strip of acetate. Again the card has simply been created using pens and this time some scraps of wrapping paper (which my daughter had left all over the spare bedroom floor after she had been wrapping shoeboxes to be sent away as gifts). The inside of the parcel is a scrap of card covered in a glittery piece of paper (again wrapping paper...20p for a whole sheet!!). then covered again in a decorative paper. Poke a hole in the front of the parcel then tear outwards. Sketch a large oval for Roddy's nose then add an arched shape for the top of his head and another for his chin, draw his eyes, antlers, ears and mouth and add a curved v shape on his nose for a highlight. Outline in black and colour with felt-tip pens, I very lightly moistened the colours with a damp paintbrush to soften the lines. Roddy is then cut out and attached in the centre of the torn parcel. Use a small price label tag to decorate the parcel. The snow effect down the side of the card is created using a Correction pen. Finish the card with a couple of scraps of ribbon and the "surprise" greeting handwritten and decorated with tiny holly leaves.

As I created the card blank myself from a piece of black card and it is quite deep, I used some matching paper to make a simple pleat envelope. To make envelope cut a piece of paper double the height ( if you have made a tall card turn on side and use this measurement for your height) and add approx 6cm, add 6cm to the width measurement. Lay the card on the paper and fold up bottom flap leaving approx 3-4cm of the top of the card exposed. open flap and this time fold in approx 2cm in on each side (this can be adjusted according to the depth of your project). Fold bottom flap back up and then fold down top flap. Open again and trim off the small folded in pleats from the top flap. Glue the touching pleats together. TIP: MAKE PLEAT ENVELOPES FOR 3D DECOUPAGE CARDS.
Will try and add my design sheet for ovals, as I have said before I am definitely not an artist but I think anyone can roughly sketch a shape and add some small details and eyes to create cartoon characters... There is a lovely article on sketching cartoon characters in Issue 36 of Simply Cards and Papercrafts by David and Angie Parkins. Really simple but clever characters to create.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Happy Beerday!!

Still playing with pens this week, there is quite a lot to explore and many different ways you can use your pens, sketching and doodling techniques are only the start. Will have to explore more things in future posts. I did in honour of my new blog make Steve a second Birthday card using only scraps and pens. I had already made him one using a digital image which I had purchased online, of Alexander Meerkat, but I thought another wouldn't hurt!!

I have been persevering with the wibbly writing technique As it looks a bit like a drunk has written it I thought it would make a great "Happy Beerday" card. The wording has been matted onto a piece of serviette that I dyed sometime ago (will have to post details ink needed!?!?). The glass was cut out of a piece of scrap card and coloured with the pens used on the writing. I didn't colour directly onto the card instead scribbled the pens on an old ceramic tile (one of my most useful craft tools), which I then spritzed with water, I squidged the glass around in the colours trying to get a heavier build up down one side to create a bit of shading. Once the glass was dry, I spattered the glass (using an old toothbrush) with some water to create some bubbles. As the glass had been moistened it had naturally curled, this all helps to create dimension. To keep the shape and attach it to the card I used some white "blue tak". The froth was made out of a scrap of handmade paper, but woodchip would have looked effective too.

The other thing I have resurrected this week is "growth patterns", this is something my girls were taught at First School to improve their handwriting, but I think it's a useful practice tool for embellishing and decorating your cards. If you're very good at it (which I'm not) you could use it for your main focal point. The idea is to start in the centre of a piece of paper with a dot then using patterns grow the design outwards. I also had a go at growing the pattern away from a corner and working inwards from a frame. I stuck to my trusty black pen but these do look pretty multicoloured or working with a limited colour palette. An additional challenge is not to repeat a pattern!! If you're stuck for inspiration look at patterns from other cultures. Aboriginal art, Egyptian designs and Native American Art are good sources. The great thing about growth patterns is that you can practice them anywhere......if you're like me and don't like flying these are great to do on the plane, it's amazing how quickly the time passes!!

Hope you give it a go's very therapeutic. (TIP: turn the paper as you draw)

Monday, 2 November 2009

Ok I know this is excessive, two posts in one hit but I failed miserably to add multiple picture to my first (very long) post. So this is an experiment. I hope to add two more pictures. They are both made with just pens... a black permanent market (fibre tipped) and some ordinary "Felt-tips". The "Thank ewe" card is just doodles which I just cut out and layered on to the base card, the other picture shows my journal with some practice pieces for future projects, I love the idea of drawing wavy lines and the filling in with colours and/or words. I actually found the words hard, but I think I was trying to be too neat!! the clumsier you are with lettering the better I think it looks, filling any loops with a touch of colour also looks quite effective. I remember seeing this technique recently on someones blog but cant remember where (it was done much better than mine) so if I can find the blog again I will post the link.

There is a small image on one piece, this is not my drawing...I had cut it from an old birthday card but I don't know who the artist is so I can't give credit...I just hope I'm not breaking any copyright laws..I hope the artist appreciates their work being recycled and not thrown away.

Have a lovely day. Diane

First Post - Back to Basics!

Well here goes, my very first post. I am still not exactly sure what I'm doing with this blogging lark. I am quite an Internet dunce so I am stumbling my way through this whole procedure. . .so if I do something wrong I hope you forgive me. I am sitting here with my trusty copy of "Google Blogger for Dummies" and am trying to do things properly.

Grovelling out of the way, let me explain the reason for my blog. As a self-confessed papercraft addict, I know I spend far too much on my hobby, but that has not always been the case, when I think back, I have always made people cards and I only had the things most of us have around the home. Once I discovered all the amazing things that you could purchase my obsession began. As so many people don't experience the world of papercrafting I think there seemed a need to lose the stigma of homemade cards and the possibility of appearing a cheapskate, the emphasis was on making professional handmade cards. But I think the tide has turned and non-crafters truly appreciate the time taken when they received a handmade card, and I know that if I now bought someone a card they would think I couldn't be bothered to make them one! people truly appreciate that personal touch, that can't be bought in a shop. My daughter and her friends have always made each other cards and none of them are traditional card makers, they just love to create individual cards, they follow no rules or conventions. Even my daughter's boyfriend got in on the act for their anniversary this year. He bought himself some card and created a pop-up heart card for her, and as much as she adored all the roses he put everywhere, she was totally overwhelmed by the effort he had made with the card. (bearing in mind he is a complete footie, one of the lads kind of chap, he deserves top marks). SO!!!! with this in mind I want to go back to basics and explore the world of papercrafting without the aid of crafting stash!! and hopefully we can inspire more people to share the pleasure of making and giving cards. It doesn't have to be about buying lots of special products and equipment.

During my regular blog hopping I discovered a new blog called Creative Craft Challenges, I thought this would be a good place to start. For their challenge of a project featuring the "number one" I created my self a journal page, using only paper and pens, I think this will be the focus of the first part of my blog, I am an avid doodler and definitely not an artist, but with a few techniques you can create a card. As this is turning into a mammoth first post I think I will go into more details next time.

Thank you if you got this far...wish me luck, I will now try and add the pictures and links. I do hope you come back! Happy Crafting, Diane.