Merry Christmas

I wish everyone the very best for a wonderful Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

For the Workman

Old Boots
Inspired by my Boy...
My little son, like most small boys, loves to play in the dirt. The only thing better than dirt is mud, and if that mud is sticky and smelly, well, all the better! Fortunately we live on acreage and have plenty of verandah space where he can take off his dirty shoes and socks before he makes his way to the bathroom (that's the theory anyway). But he tends to leave them where they fall so that you could basically backtrack his movements by this trail of dirty socks!



Old Boots

Free Printable #26
When I'm designing my pictures I generally do a quick sketch to get the basic idea and shape down on the page. The lines are all rough and drawn many times, one on top of the other as I build up the picture. When I'm happy with the result I transfer a "clean" image into my little sketch book, which is then scanned and uploaded.
Anyway, when I got to the end of this initial drawing, I was so taken with the rustic look of the design that I decided to keep it in it's sketchy form. This is probably my favourite of the five masculine designs.




Designed: 25.05.10
copyright Beccy Muir

For the Gardener

Gardening Items
Inspired by my Uncle...
My uncle is absolutely crazy about his garden - and other people's gardens for that matter! He loves to get out and dig and shovel and plant and cultivate, and he's not averse to ripping, cutting and destroying either! He was always the first to arrive at someone's house when we were having a family "working bee" and would generally be the last to leave. The coffee and bickies in the design were inspired by those of us (not mentioning any names), who take up that all important task of standing on the sidelines cheering on our wonderful gardeners. We are the ones who get to hold stakes, lift fences, fetch tools and open bags. Phew... just writing all that makes me want to go and have coffee!

Gardening Items

Free Printable #25

Designed: 24.05.10
copyright Beccy Muir

Saturday, May 29, 2010

For the Handy Man

Building Tools
Inspired by my Brothers...


Building Tools

Free Printable #24

Designed: 25.05.10
copyright Beccy Muir

For the Technofile

Computer Mouse and Jelly Beans
Inspired by my Hubby...
I have to admit that my husband rarely snacks when he's using the computer. I, on the other hand, like to embrace my ability to multi-task with an assortment of tasty treats... sometimes it can be quite an exercise in agility, but I am committed! Using jelly beans in the design also provides the opportunity to add an assortment of colours so it's easier to co-ordinate patterned papers or to set up a particular colour scheme.

Computer Mouse

Free Printable #23


copyright Beccy Muir
Designed: 25.05.10

Friday, May 28, 2010

Downloading the Printables

A few people have commented that they are having some difficulties opening up the printable images on my blog, so I thought I would do a quick post on how to use them... it's really easy!

Right click with your mouse on the image you want to use and a drop down menu should appear. Select save picture as to save it somewhere on your machine for use in another program, select print to print it immediately or select copy to copy and paste it into a different program on your computer.

There's no need to "open" the image in another window, you can do any of these things with the image you see in the blog.

I hope that helps!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

For the Vintage Gent

Pocket Watch and Handkerchief
Inspired by my Dad...


I coloured two of these images, this one using gold pen and the other using shades of grey to simulate silver metal. Both looked quite good but in the end I decided to go with the gold as I could set it off against some metallic card that I had in my stash.

P.S. Please don't tell my Dad I referred to him as a "Vintage Gent", it would not go down well!

Pocket Watch and Handkerchief

Free Printable #22
Thank you to everyone who left requests for designs. I've decided to go with Terri's idea (despite much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair) of designing images for the males in our life who aren't really into sports. I think masculine cards are the trickiest to design (hence my worn down molars and obvious bald spot) but probably some of the most requested for classes, ideas and designs.

I've put together a series of five designs inspired by the men in my own life - husband, son (he's still just a little man), brothers, father, friends, etc. I hope you enjoy the images and can find a use for them in your own creations. Feel free to leave comments linking your creations... I'd love to see some of the things you come up with! Have fun.


Designed: 25.05.10
copyright Beccy Muir

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Holly Blossom Cards

Christmas Challenge
Every year it's the same for me... I get to the end of October and think how nice it would be to send out handmade Christmas cards, but of course I've left it much too late and have far too many preparations to make without adding half a hundred cards to the list! Well, the good news is that I've rediscovered a challenge blog called Christmas Cards All Year 'Round that challenges participants to make 5 Christmas cards a month. By the end of the year you have a good stash of cards without all the fuss and bother.

Here are the cards I made for the May challenge. I used my latest printable image coloured with my brand spanking new Copic markers (yes, I've finally joined the ranks... never to look back again!)


Holly Blossoms

Free Printable #21



Designed: 18.05.10
copyright Beccy Muir

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

More Boxed Cards

Bright and Pretty
As a child, one of my favourite school crafts involved scrunching up little pieces of coloured paper and then gluing them onto a larger piece of card to make a picture. These cards are inspired by those long ago childhood artworks.




Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tissue Box Cover

A Productive Day...
I've had a very productive day in the craft room, not only fiddling around with the flowers from my earlier post, but also covering a tissue box and embellishing it too! Shame I'm not quite so keen when it comes to mops and vacuum cleaners. Ah well... one thing at a time.

Technique Class - Building Flowers

Building Up Purchased Flowers
Using Prima "Flight of Fancy"

There's a huge variety of beautiful flowers on the market today from companies such as Prima Marketing, Kaisercraft, Green Tara, and Bella. They are becoming more detailed with gorgeous embellished centres, flocked and glittered petals and even the addition of stamens and leaves. With this tutorial, I'm going to show you one simple way to build up your purchased flowers to produce wonderful textured embellishments for your off the page projects... you'll get a creative fix and be much kinder on your hip pocket as well.



Requirements:
3 purchased flowers (1 smaller than the others)
3 purchased stamens
Liquid glue


1. Fold each flower a few times to soften the paper and make it easier to shape. Pinch the creases well so that they don't flatten out again.


2. Fold the stamens in half so that the beaded ends are all together. You will get a more natural look if you don't try to make the lengths even.


3. Push the folded end of the stamens through the smallest flower. Add a little glue to the stamens and the back of the flower. Squeeze the flower around the stamens to help shape it and keep it from lying flat.


4. Add the other two flowers in the same way, glueing as you go. When you have all three flowers on the stamens, pinch and shape the base of the flower until you are satisfied with how it looks.


5. Add a little more glue around the base of the bottom flower to help secure the stamens in place. Set aside to dry thoroughly.

6. When the blossom is completely dry, use your fingers to reshape the petals as desired. Separate the stamens so they are not bunched in the centre and cut off the excess at the back of the flower. It's now ready to use on a project.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Decorated Box

Using Handmade Flowers
The flowers on top of this box are the little tulle and lace blossoms from my previous post. The box is made from MDF (similar ones can be purchased from most craft stores) and has been decorated with a little paint on the bevelled edge and then covered with patterned paper. I always apply a couple of hearty coats of matte varnish before finishing with various embellishments.



Sunday, May 9, 2010

For My Mum

Happy Mother's Day
To all the lovely Mum's out there, I hope you've had a lovely day with those you love and those who love you right back again!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Technique Class - Handmade Flowers

Tulle and Lace Flowers
These pretty flowers are really quite easy to make. All you need are the right materials and some basic sewing skills to begin producing your own beautiful embellishments. Once you get the general idea of how these flowers are constructed you can start to experiment with different widths, colours and textures for some different results.


Requirements:
4" of gathered lace approximately 1/2" wide.
8" x 1" length of tulle fabric (also known as netting)
Sharp scissors
Needle and thread
Quick drying glue
Artificial flower stamens (or a pretty button, etc.)
White puff paint (or kindy glitz, etc.)
Heat tool


1. Add a row of running stitch along the bottom of the lace piece. (Running stitch is the most basic sewing stitch and is just up and down through the fabric.)

2. Pull the thread tight to gather the lace. Add some small stitches to form the lace into a circle and secure with a tight knot.


3. Concertina the piece of tulle until you have folded it six or eight times. With you sharp scissors, round off one of the open ends. Do not cut through the sides where the tulle is folded.



4. Your tulle should now be scalloped.



5. Apply a sparse amount of puff paint to the very edges of the scalloped tulle. Remember that puff paint expands to about 3 times it's size, so be sparing or you may end up with flowers that look as they marshmellows have exploded all over them!


6. Very Carefully apply heat to the puff paint. Remember that tulle is a synthetic fabric and will melt if you heat it too much. Keep your heat gun nice and high and if it looks as though the tulle is starting to melt remove the heat. Do not touch melted synthetics or you may sustain a nasty burn.


7. Add another row of stitching along the bottom of the tulle and pull tight as you did for the lace. Now it's a simple matter of layering the lace on top of the tulle, pushing some flower stamens through both layers and securing it all with some strong glue.



Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mum's Blossoms

Free Printable #20


Designed: 03.05.10
copyright Beccy Muir

Blossoms For Mum

Mother's Day Cards
or Other Special Occasions...
The little blossoms from the next post can be coloured in just about any shade you like, which makes them easy to match with specific cardstocks or patterned papers and for specific occasions.


As you can see, I've just made some very simple cards using coloured cardstock as the card blank, some white embossed card, a scalloped oval of the same cardstock and then my image. The most difficult part was finding matching ribbons amongst my stash!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Embroidered Mice

Awwwww....
I sat and stitched today while I was "working" at the craft cottage in my town. Ever since giving a ribbon embroidery lesson a couple of months ago, I've felt the urge to pull out the tackle box full of floss and ribbons and lovely buttons and actually make something pretty.
These mice are only small, about the size of an egg, so I calculate that with all the fabric, floss and silk ribbon I currently own, I could probably make around 43,947 of them without putting too much strain on my stash. That's only a rough guess of course.





Monday, May 3, 2010

Mojo Monday #137

Capture the Moments
Here's my rendition of the latest card sketch over at Mojo Monday.


Boxed Cards

Blank Greeting Cards
I made six, all-purpose, all weather, any occasion, goes with anything greeting cards that fit into a little matching gift box. The cards can be stored in the box and used individually (can you believe I thought of that all by myself?!) OR the entire box and contents can be given away as a little gift to someone special.