Friday, 22 March 2013

Easter Triplets

The Paper Players have a challenge going on, one that really interested me. The challenge is for clean and simple cards, and that style is always a challenge for me. Here's the sketch for the challenge:

It took me forever to do this card - lol! I thought about shaping the base somehow, cut all kinds of dies to frame the eggs, tried several printed ribbons and really wanted something different for the sentiment. Finally, I was able to cut all the frills, and I simply love the result! By the way, the egg stamp is from Eureka Stamps and you can get your own  here, along with the sentiment.

At the same time, The Boss was fresh from a nap and feeling pretty frisky. She kept trying to push things off my craft table. Finally she grabbed a piece of ribbon and ran off. Since she used it to floss her teeth, I don't want it back - ha, ha.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Easter Chics

It's time for all us chicks to think about Easter. This is one of my favourite holidays each year since, beside the religious significance, it's all about Spring. Spring colors, spring fashions, new shoes, new animal life, green popping up in the grass, tulips poking up out of the bare ground - all of these things make me smile.

Today's collection of images from Eureka Stamps certainly brings this new season to mind. The happy expressions of all these little chicks just have to make you smile inside and out. These are digital stamps, so they are very reasonably priced and you can get the whole collection or just the ones that you like best.

For this week's tutorial, I've created a side step card. Here's the pattern. It uses a 7 x 10 piece of heavy cardstock. Here's the steps for cutting and folding.

Using a paper cutter, or craft knife and ruler, cut a line as seen in the middle of the pattern at 3.5 inches, running from 2.5 to 9 inches.

With a Scor-Pal, score across the two sides for mountain and valley folds as indicated on the pattern.
On the left-hand side:
Mountain fold at 5 inches.

On the right-hand side:
Mountain fold at 2.5, 6.5 and 9 inches.
Valley folds at 5 and 8 inches.

Make these folds, and press with a bone folder tool. Your card should look like the photo below.

Next, cut two pieces of watercolor paper at 3.25 by 4.75 inches. Sponge with several colors of Distress Inks. If you are using very light colors and you want maximum color, apply the ink pads directly to the paper. Spritz with water. When dry, ink Eureka's Filigree Background with Distress Ink, and spritz the inked stamp lightly with water before stamping on the watercolor paper. Spritzing the stamp will give you a softer impression. Here's a snap of my background, and I apologize for how fuzzy this shot is.

Cut one piece of the dry background paper into pieces the right sizes for your card steps. Adhere background papers to the card base.

Cut 3 strips of grass with Cricut's Plantin cartridge at 1". Use these strips and the negative left behind to create grass for each of your card steps.

Color up your chicks. I've used Copics Y23, 32 and 38. One trick is to color outside your lines. That way when you fancy cut your chicks, you won't have white edges hanging out. Adhere chicks to card as it suits you.

Print Eureka's Happy Easter and sponge some color on the paper. Trim to fit bottom of card and adhere.

Adhere three Paper Flowers and place self-adhesive pearls in centres. Add a ribbon bow and call it done!

Here's a couple more photos of the card from the top and side, which might help you visualize the steps.

Join us next Wednesday at the QKR and Eureka for some projects presented by new members of the Technique and Tutorial Team!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

One Rubber Stamp

One of my girlfriends was telling me that she was so tired of stamping her image in black and trying to color it in somehow, and she wondered what else she could do because she really liked the stamp. That was the inspiration for today's QKR Stampede and Technique and Tutorial Post - what can we do with one rubber stamp? There are so many ideas out there, besides coloring with markers, and here are a few of my favorites. For today's examples, I'm using QKR's 17505 Rose.

One way to do something other than coloring your image with a marker, is to stamp with VersaMark onto watercolor paper and then heat emboss with clear powder as shown in the example above. Then sponge various Distress Inks over the stamp. You can see I attempted to focus yellow on the rose and green on the leaves, but I sponged those colors outside the image as well. Spritz the paper with water and, when dry, cut with a Spellbinder. To finish this card, I attached a piece of polka dot velum, cut some fancy shapes with dies, and (of course!) added a few dots of liquid pearls.

For the project above, stamp randomly on a piece of cardstock and sponge the edges. You can cover the area completely or, if you know that you will be adding something else, you can leave an area empty. Paper roses, leaves and a doily all cut from dies complete the focal point, along with ribbon and pearls.

Here's a striking example of stamping with VersaMark and heat embossing - this time in silver.

Don't forget to use an embossing buddy, especially with a black background, so your embossing powder only sticks where you want it to.

Add a ribbon, a self-adhesive button, and mount the image on some beautiful designer paper.

If you're like me, and you just can't leave the Copics on the shelf, try stamping with a grey ink. That way, soft colors won't be overtaken by heavy black image lines.

In this project, a Spellbinders die creates a very interesting focal piece and all you need is a piece of ribbon to complete the look.

Thanks for joining me today and don't forget to check out Eureka Stamps Blog today for a special guest Technique and Tutorial!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Orchid Paper Sculpture

Have you ever heard of paper sculpture? If you Google the term, you'll find that paper sculpture runs from the simple to the extreme, and that paper artists perfect a myriad of techniques to sculpt their projects. It shouldn't have been a surprise for me to learn that QKR Stampede and Eureka Stamps have made beautiful and do-able paper sculpting projects available to us. So I've chosen paper sculpture as the topic for this week's Technique and Tutorial posting.

When you order a digi or rubber paper sculpting image from the choices at QKR or Eureka, you'll also receive a full set of instructions to complete your project. I won't repeat those instructions but, in this short post, I'll tell you what I did outside the instructions.

The Orchid was my selection, and I knew I wanted this beautiful flower to decorate the top of a small gift box. My first step was to choose two patterned cardstock sheets for the box along with a coordinating sheet in a solid color for the flower.

I trimmed my solid sheet to 8 1/2 x 11 inches to fit the printer, and printed the orchid in grey, rather than black, at 4 inches wide.

After cutting out each petal, I painted them with a Mica powder mixture (2 parts Mica, 1 part Binder, 1 part water) with red in the centres fading to a purple iridescent at the ends.

I set aside the petals to dry while I made a simple 4 inch square box and a die cut doily shape. I beaded three head pins (from my jewellery stash) to use for the stamen - looking at it now, I think it's a bit heavy and one probably would have done the trick.

I shaped the flowers with my fingers and the tools pictured. The flowers hadn't totally dried yet, and moisture made the paper more pliable and made for easier shaping. As I glued each piece, I held it in place with a small clip until the glue set. When the flower was dry, I set it all alone - without ribbon or further embellishment to steal its thunder - on the box top.

I hope you give paper sculpting a try cause it's easier than it first looks and gives beautiful results. I completed this project in less than an hour, even with a bad chest cold hampering my thought processes and pretty much eliminating my patience - lol. I do suggest printing or stamping your image onto a scrap paper first so you can play with the construction process and get to understand how the pieces fit together before working with your good paper.