Tuesday, January 17

More Desserts!

Out of all the new stamp releases this month, Just Desserts is easily my favourite... and not just because I love desserts. I really like how easy the images are to colour and how vibrant the fruit looks. Plus there's the added bonus of being able to personalise the "flavour" of each dessert for the recipient... bring on the chocolate!

"Just Desserts" Clear Stamps

Sunday, January 15

New Release: Just Desserts

Of all the sets that have been released this month, this is easily my favourite. The cakes and pies are so easy to colour and the combinations are endless. I love the idea of personalising the "flavour" to whomever receives the card. You can have chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, mango... whatever you like!

My designers have been busy creating these
delicious projects to help get you inspired!

Carla created these two beautiful cards using the images from the new set. She coloured the layer cake and the little tartlet with pencils... don't those blueberries look good enough to eat?!

Petra has gone crazy with polka dots and lots of fabulous bright colours! She, too, has done an awesome job colouring the images to create lots of depth and dimension. The bottom card is a circular swing card with a central panel that rotates when the card is opened or closed.

Anesha's card features a lush background that makes me think of tropical outdoor dining, balmy nights and moreish desserts full of plump berries. She has presented her fruit tartlet on a luxurious gold platter to make the most of a special occasion.

Saturday, January 14

Warm Wishes

To add a frosty sparkle to my card, I added some Wink of Stella to the ground around the bunny's feet and a little splodge to his nose as well. Looks like it's time for him to head back to the lodge for a cup of hot chocolate!

Friday, January 13

For Someone Special

I haven't made a Joy Fold card in quite a while, so figured today was the day! I used some of the beautiful patterned paper by Maja Design, a wonderful collection of letter stamps that have an old printing press look, and one of the bunnies from my new "Snow Bunnies" digital stamp set. The big pink button, tied with twine, holds the front part of the card closed.

Thursday, January 12

Tutorial: Building Block Cards

Building block cards get their name from the square shapes that "pop up" when the card is open. They are handily placed to hold a sentiment made of individual letters, or even little images or embellishments. Usually these cards are created by cutting slits directly into the card base and then folding them inside. The method I want to show you today actually uses four strips of cardboard that are adhered to the card base in the same position as the traditional style.

1. Start with a piece of card stock measuring 53/4" x 111/4". Place it horizontally on your score board and score at 33/4" and 71/2". Make a mountain fold on the first score line and a valley fold on the second score line so that you end up with a Z-fold card.

2. Cut four pieces of card stock to measure 11/4" x 5". I've used the same card stock as my base, but feel free to experiment with other colours for a different look.

3. Score each strip at 11/4", 21/2" and 33/4" then fold along the score lines.

4. Starting at the top edge of the card, measure and mark your card base along the valley fold at 11/4", 11/2", 23/4", 3", 41/4" and 41/2".

5. Apply glue or double sided tape to one end of the first strip. Secure it between the top of the card and the first mark you made, keeping it flush with the top of the card and with the rest of the strip facing toward the right hand side. See the photo below.

6. Repeat with the remaining strips using the marks you made earlier to line them up. 

7. Bring the first strip back over to the left hand side and apply glue or double sided tape to the end square. See the photo below.

8. Bend the strip over and secure it to the centre piece of the card, matching the first end you secured. A little box will be formed.

9. Repeat with the remaining three strips until you have four little boxes or "building blocks" in the centre of your card.

10. All that's left is the decoration! Have fun.

Stamps: Simply Freesias by Beccy's Place

Photographs and written instructions are copyright Beccy Muir.
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 10

Designer Cards: Snow Bunnies

I've got some more cards to share with you today, also using the new "Snow Bunnies" set of digital stamps. 

This beautiful centre step card was designed and constructed by Carla.
You can find the template for her design either on her blog or in the upcoming January newsletter.

Check out the awesome "fur" around this little guys cuffs and hat brim!
Petra's done a great job with the colours and textures on this card... the grey and blue work perfectly together.

Anesha has gone with some warmer shades of purple for her beautifully shaped card. The rhinestone snowflakes give it the perfect amount of sparkle.

Sunday, January 8

New Release: Snow Bunnies

What could be cuter than a fluffy bunny all snuggled up in her winter woollies ready to brave the cool temperatures? Perfect for winter birthdays and seasonal well-wishes, this set could also be transformed into Christmas and holiday greetings.

Snow Bunnies Digital Stamp Set

AJ has chosen wonderful bright colours for her card, along with a fabulous watercolour background reminiscent of alpine ski slopes.

Judy's medium of choice was coloured pencils... and hasn't she done a great job matching the colours in the background paper?!

Karin used shades of red and green for her New Year's card,
giving it a definite holiday feel.

I'll have some more cards to share with you in the next few days, in the meantime, please visit my designer's blogs to see all the wonderful creations they've been working on... you're sure to find lots of great stuff to pique your interest!

Saturday, January 7

January Deals

Looking for some great after Christmas deals?
Half-Price Sale
We have five digital sets on sale throughout the month of January. There's a fabulous mix of different styles and designs for all your card-making needs.

Strawberry Patch Set

Feather Set

Garden Silhouette Set

Ellie Set

Party Pig Set

Thursday, January 5

Tutorial - Wrap Around Album Cover

Last month I shared a Christmas album I created that had a wrap around cover. Following that post, I received a few lovely emails asking for a tutorial for how to put one together, which is what I've been doing for the past few days. This is a tutorial ONLY for the outside of the album, there are no pages, but you can see where they would be attached.

1. Start by creating the spine for your album. This is the section that you will attach all the individual pages to and it's what will determine the width of your finished album. I want my album to measure 6" square so I'm using a piece of card stock that is 6" wide x 111/4" long, which will allow me to add eight pages.

2. Place the card stock horizontally on your score board and make the first score line at the 1/2" mark. After that first score line, there is a pattern to follow. Measuring from the last score line, go ahead 1/4", then 1/2", another 1/2", 1/4", 1/2", 1/2",1/4", 1/2", 1/2",1/4", 1/2", 1/2",1/4", 1/2", 1/2", 1/4".... continue until you have reached the end of the card stock. You should finish on a single 1/2".

3. Now it's time to fold along the score lines. The line between each 1/2" score line is a mountain fold and all the others are valleys.

4. Apply double sided tape on the back of the card stock, between each 1/2" score line and press them together. You should end up with eight little tabs with 1/4" gaps between them. These tabs will hold the individual pages of your album.

5. Your spine should look like the photo below. The back is flat, which is where you apply the glue to hold it inside your album cover.

6. Now measure the width of the spine you created. As you can see, mine is 23/8" which is the measurement I will use for my album. 

7. I'm making the album cover out of heavy chipboard, which I've cut to the sizes I want. For an album measuring 6" x 6" and 23/8" wide you will need the following chipboard:
  • two pieces that are 6" x 61/2" for the front and back cover
  • one piece that is 6" x 23/8" for the album spine
  • one piece that is 6" x 21/2" for the end
  • one piece that is 6" x 2" for the closure

8. Here I have them laid out, in order, on two pieces of card stock that I'm using for the outer cover. I have attached the two piece together with some tape.

9. Use some liquid glue to attach the chipboard to the card stock. I'm using a ruler to make sure my chipboard stays straight as I secure it across the card stock.

10. This step is very important for creating an album that doesn't tear when you put it all together. Create a shim from three pieces of the chipboard you're using. Glue them all together so that you have a piece that is three times as thick as your regular chipboard. You'll use this little shim as the spacer between the pieces you're gluing. DO NOT PLACE THE CHIPBOARD ANY CLOSER OR YOUR CARD STOCK WILL TEAR AND YOUR ALBUM WILL FALL APART.

11. Use the shim to space each piece of chipboard. Don't throw it away... save it for the next album you make!

12. Okay, we have all our pieces attached firmly to the card stock and the glue has dried. I like to apply some matt varnish to each of the folds to help strengthen them. I highly recommend this step, particularly for albums that are going to be handled a lot. An alternative to varnish is to place a piece of washi or masking tape on the inside of the card stock where the folds will be. It gives extra strength to the card.

13. Fold the edges of the card stock up around the chipboard on all four sides. Use a bone folder to press the seams, then unfold again.

14. Using liquid glue or strong double sided tape, start gluing the card stock to the chipboard, beginning with the four corners. Keep the folds nice and crisp and press them firmly for a nice flat finish.

15. Once the four corners are secure, glue and fold up the four sides. Allow the glue to dry completely.

16. Use a bone folder or ball tool to score along all the fold lines, taking care not to pierce the card stock. Fold along each of the score lines. Now you have created the basic album cover!

17. Time to secure the folded spine inside the album. Use some strong glue or double sided tape to secure the folded spine to the chipboard.

18. Apply some more glue to the two end pieces and secure them on either side of the gaps. Use your bone folder or ball tool to score either side before folding your album cover up.

Now you can decorate your album cover in any way you like. I would normally use papers and embellishments to decorate my album, but today I decided to go with a mixed media compilation. I've included some photos of the process I used to decorate my album. I won't go into too much detail, but feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section below.

Masking tape and plaster tape for texture.
The tape gives the folds a little more strength too.

Some texture paste applied through a stencil.

Figuring out where I want the metal closure.
(I haven't realised that I'm putting it on upside down!)

I've added flowers, chipboard and wood pieces.

A coat of gesso preps my album for colour.

Spritzes and sprays until I'm happy

Applying a top coat of gesso to tone down the colour and bring everything together. I like to use my finger for this step, it keeps the paint on the highest parts of the surface so I don't lose too much colour or texture.

Gesso has dried and I've applied a coat of spray varnish.

Applying the hardware with glue and brads.
... yep, still upside down, but I'm about to realise... 

... and turn it around.

I decorate the inside last so that I can cover up the stems of the brads.

Here I'm applying some washi tape on the back of the patterned paper, directly over the chipboard joins. This will give the paper lots of extra strength for all that bending and folding.

Covering the far right hand side first...

Then finishing off the centre, ready for some pages.

Happy Crafting Everyone!

Photos and written instructions are copyright Beccy Muir.
All rights reserved.