Sunday, August 30

Anesha Goes Vintage

Anesha has created two fabulous projects with this month's Encore set of digital stamps. Her first creation is a gorgeous mini album with beautiful shaped pages. She has used the Shabby Chic digital stamp set to decorate the cover, and furthered embellished with vintage-look papers and little self-adhesive pearls.

Anesha's second creation is a gorgeous card featuring the pears and roses from the set. She has added ink to the edges of the image panel, which gives her project a beautiful vintage vibe.


Saturday, August 29

Autumn Tones

I love the warm and inviting colours of autumn, with its deep reds, golden greens and rusty yellows. Wonderful inspiration when deciding on a colour palette! I finished this card with a strip of chocolate coloured pearls, which also work well with the rustic colour scheme.


Thursday, August 27

Selected, retired digital stamps at an incredibly low price for just 48 hours.
No rainchecks. No repeats.

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Tuesday, August 25

Kathy's Creation

Keeping us inspired today is the fabulous Kathy Asper, who has used the Shabby Chic Roses set to create a gorgeous card for someone special. Kathy has gone to the extra effort of decorating the inside of the card with a sentiment and lovely swirl graphic. She has also provided a colour chart for those who are interested in the mediums used in her project.


Sunday, August 23

Tutorial: Pop-Art Colouring

I want to share a simple colouring technique with you today that will give your image a wonderful pop-art look. You can use whatever colouring medium you like, but you'll also need a black, fine line pen and a good, white gel pen.

Start by colouring the image as desired. We're only using a single colour for each section... no highlights, no shadows, just flat colour. I chose to use all the primary and secondary colours, making sure the tones were about the same, which means I didn't mix pastels with neons or muted colours with brights.

Now, try to think of each element in the image as having four sides - top, bottom, left and right. With the black fine line pen, outline all the different elements in the image on the left and bottom sides. Don't add an outline on the right hand side or on the top.

Take a good look at the image below. You can see that I've added black outlines here and there around the image, but if you look closely you'll notice that the lines are actually on the bottom and left side of each area. Look at the green icing at the very bottom of the cake. You can see black lines on each swirl but only on the bottom and left hand side. That's the look you're going for.

Now we're going to do the same process with the white pen, except we'll be focusing on the top and right hand side of each of the elements. The only difference this time is that we're not going to add the line around the edge of each element. Instead, we're going to come inside just a little bit. Again, look at that green icing at the bottom of the cake. You can see that the white lines are at the top, right hand side, but they are a couple of millimetres in from the actual edge of the icing.

What we've basically done with the black and white pens - even though I said we wouldn't - is add a shadow and highlight, but in an extremely stylised way. The effect is still basically the same, but without the longer process.

I hope you'll give this tutorial a go, and if you do, don't forget to share a link with me.


Friday, August 21

Orange Blooms

Every now and then I like to step outside my comfort zone and work with something I don't generally use - in this case, it's the colour orange. For some reason, it's not a colour I gravitate to, whether in pens and pencils or papers and embellishments.

I'd love to hear if there are colours you avoid.
Do you ever step outside your comfort zone, and if so, have you been surprised by the results?


Wednesday, August 19

Paper Tole (part two)

A couple of days ago I started a paper tole project, which I originally intended to use on the front of a greeting card, but after all the work and the fabulous results (if I do say so myself), I decided it needed to be displayed in a different way. I oscillated between creating a framed picture and using it on the front of a notebook or album. In the end, it was the frame that won.

I sandwiched a piece of acetate between the top of the frame and the side layers to keep the image clean and protected. You can buy sheets of acetate from your local craft or scrapbook store, or you can recycle it from packaging, which is what I generally do.


Monday, August 17

Paper Tole

A clever friend of mine taught me a few tricks for making beautiful paper tole pictures, so I thought I'd give it a go using the double birdhouse from the Precious Memories set. I started by printing three of the full colour images with the intention of building them up to form a three dimensional scene.

I cut the base layer with a scalloped circle die. As you can see from the photo, the die doesn't quite fit the image, cropping out some of the leaves and the top of one of the birdhouses. I chose the small die so that some of the image will extend beyond the border of the base layer.

It was at this point that I realised I would need a couple more images to get a really detailed result. Thankfully I remembered the size and settings at which I printed the image and was able to produce two extras. (Hooray for digital stamps!)

For the second layer I trimmed away all the openings in the bird houses, then fussy cut the entire image, right up against the printed lines.

One of the tricks of the trade that I learned from my friend is to use a marker to reduce the amount of white paper that shows from your cuts. I used a light green shade to colour the edges of all the cuts. Make sure you work from the back though, as it's fairly common for the marker to slip and leave a trail of ink!

I adhered the second image directly over the first with a layer of silicone. You can buy specific silicone based glue for paper tole projects, but I was able to purchase a tube from my local hardware store that does the same thing at a better price.

I harvested a variety of different pieces from each of the other printed images. I ended up with a lot more than what you see in the photo below. Each of the pieces (except the birdhouses) were shaped with ball tools for a little more realism.

I'd originally intended to use the finished piece on the front of a card, but after all the work it took I felt I should do something more... which I haven't quite figured out yet. Hopefully inspiration will come to me in the next day or two!


Saturday, August 15

Everything Papercraft - Altered Art

In artistic circles, altered art is basically the conversion or alteration of everyday items into decorative pieces using a variety of different methods, techniques and materials. Usually the items that are altered become purely ornamental since the intention is to create a piece of art. However, altered art in terms of paper craft, can also include functional objects that have been decorated but still maintain their use such as altered books, boxes and containers.

Recycled and upcycled objects are an integral part of altered art with many crafters enjoying the “search” almost as much as the creating! You can find wonderful vintage images, jewellery, fabrics, buttons, metal objects and other whatnots in second hand shops, local markets, garage sales or even amongst your own craft stash. Another great source for interesting objects is the internet, particularly sites such as Etsy and eBay.

Thursday, August 13

A Day At Jackie's

There are many reasons to create and send cards, from birthday celebrations to the joyous arrival of a new baby. Some occasions are easy to create for, while others are more difficult and finding the right words can be a challenge. The Precious Memories set has sentiments for just those times. Whether you need a card for a grieving friend or for someone who is dealing with a health, financial or personal challenge, there are kind words to help you express your care and support.

Jackie has created a collection of beautiful cards for those challenging moments that occur in every life. She has coloured the images with soft, beautiful colours and matched them with meaningful sentiments intended to offer comfort, hope and love. She has kindly provided some colouring guides for those who are curious about the mediums she used on her projects.

For more of Jackie's work, head over to her personal blog:

Tuesday, August 11

Hot Tip Tuesday

A quick, easy and stylish way to add a border to your card is by using a score board and embossing tool. Simply open your card and lay it face down on the score board. Use the tool to score a line 1/4" from the each edge. Start the line about 1/4" from the top edge and stop about 1/4" from the bottom edge. Work around the card front a couple of times to make sure your score lines meet up nicely.