Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More Paisley, etc

Last week I posted a pic of a paisley card I made after scanning some fabric.  Well of course, there was more paper left, so I had to make another.  It was supposed to be a birthday card for someone, but I forgot to send it.  Thank heavens for email instead!

Aside from the background paper, all I did was emboss the frame tag with black embossing powder, then stamp the sentiment.  Super easy!

This is an attempt at coloring with alcohol based markers.  Even as a child I stunk at coloring, so this is hard for me. It didn't come out too badly though. After stamping and coloring (using Bics, not anything expensive) I used an air tool to splatter the background a little (using water-based markers), then sponged some ink around the edges.  All finished!

I made this card for a challenge over at Splitcoast Stampers.  It was supposed to be based on an Irish pottery, basically using an embossing folder with the negative side inked up.  It reminded me of wedgewood china, so I did mine in blue.  The stamp is from SU! from the I  (heart) hearts set.  I kept this part simple so it wouldn't detract from the background.  Sometimes I think there are so many embellishments that the cards drown in them.  So doing something simple for a change is nice.  All I did then was add a matching ribbon.  I used two rows because one looked too wimpy.  I didn't want anything wider because it didn't look delicate enough.  Two small ones was the compromise.  But I will say it is hard to smooth out ribbon over an embossed background!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Whole Hearted

The other day as I was perusing Pinterest, I came across a free digital paper download from Papercraft Inspirations.  Along with the download, they asked to see what you created from them.  So, here are my creations.

The first card is made with a strip of one of the half sheets of paper, and the heart postage strip.  The three hearts are made with a Stampin Up! embosslit.  The pink heart was stamped with the filigree background stamp.  The print heart is from the downloaded paper.  The bottom heart is SU! pool party.  The sentiment and stamped hearts are also SU!

The coloring on this card is a little hard to see.  The papers are all SU!  I'm not sure what the 2 pinks are.  The brown is chocolate chip and the blue is pool party.  The pink circle is stamped with the filigree background stamp.  The sentiment in the middle is from the Papercraft Inspirations paper.  The hearts are punched with the SU! heart punch.

This is my favorite.  The background paper is the download.  The butterfly is from a die cut/embossing set that I don't remember what it is!  The hearts are from the SU! heart punch.  The metallic hearts are from Imaginisce.

So, go download your own paper and get started on your valentines!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Two New Cards

I haven't made any cards for a bit, so this weekend I made 2.  Oddly enough, I bought some spellbinders die cuts this weekend, but didn't use them for either card!  Oh well!

The first one is made with background paper I made by scanning a piece of fabric.  I bought this fabric to make a cover for my Kindle.  I liked it so much, I thought it would make good designer paper.   I also decided it would make a great scarf to wear with a black shirt, or to add to a t-shirt for a designer top.  Might have to do both of those!  In the meantime, here's the Kindle cover and the card.

 I love how the hearts just happened to come out like they did.  I'll use this card for a Valentine's.

I saw a similar card this summer when I was at the scrapbooking convention in Arlington, TX.  It used the same stamp set, with eyes and smiles.  This is my take on it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Au Naturale

Not me!  My newest necklace!  I am just loving working with metal clay!  I started this one last night and finished it up today.  It takes a little longer because it involves painting the clay on in layers.  It has to dry completely between each layer.  I think I have 10 or 11 layers!

As with all my other metal clay projects, I'm learning things with each one.  For this one I'd like to learn how to make it smoother.  Since it's from a leaf, I don't know if there is really a way to do that.  It'll take more research I guess!

Oh!  I used an ivy geranium leaf for this.  Hope you like it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Card making meets jewelry making

I spent last night working on an idea for a metal clay necklace.  Unfortunately, as I lifted the piece from the drying rack I had it on, I dropped it an broke it.  Luckily, I discovered that the clay can be re-hydrated and used again. So I did that tonight with all my dried up bits, and now it's resting and absorbing water so I can use it maybe tomorrow..

In the meantime, with the clay taht was still workable, I made another necklace that I'd had an idea for.  It kind of reminds me of the wreaths I used to make back in the 80s.  The fun part was that I used my card making punches to punch out the flower shapes.  How cool is that?  Of course, I'll probably have to scrub the punches now so that the olive oil I had to rub on them doesn't get on my card stock.  But I love that my crafting supplies that I already have can perform another function.

I have another pendant in the works, but I won't be able to finish it until tomorrow or Wednesday because it's done in layers.  So here's the one I made tonight.

 I don't know why the second photo keeps turning sideways!  But you can at least see the necklace!  The photo on the left helps show a little more contrast  between the flowers.  Some are shiny smooth and some are brushed metal.  I'm hoping my son remembers to get his dremmel back from his girlfriend tomorrow so I can use it to polish with.  Then I'll be able to make a greater differentiation between the flowers.

Using this clay is so much fun.  It's like magic every time I turn something from clay into silver!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

More Embossing Folder Cards

I mentioned last week that I'd try the technique of coloring the raised parts of an embossing folder with markers on some more designs. You can see my originals here. I loved the roses, but it was a bit time consuming.  I decided to give some border folders a try.  I liked the results a lot.  Here's the first one with a button design:

I like the way this came out, mostly.  I probably wasn't as careful as I should be with this, so it ran a little bit. The buttons are just embossed cardboard.  I should have glazed them, too, to make them more realistic.  Overall, it's cute, but not to my usual quality.

So, the next one is border design.    I like the way it came out.  All the white space is perfect to add a sentiment, or just leave blank for a note card.

Finally, my third attempt.  This hasn't actually made it into "card state" yet.  It's just a front.The black isn't part of the card, it's just how I had to back it in my scanner to get the whole image instead of just the edge.  My scanner is funny with what it likes to crop automatically.  For this one, instead of coloring it, I ran it lightly over my ink pad, then just used marker for the red berries.  I tried using a Q-tip to remove the green from the berries before coloring, and just coloring over the green.   I didn't notice an appreciable difference, so I'm inclined to forego the extra step!

A couple of tips for using this technique:

  1. Keep Q-tips handy to wipe up areas you overshoot when coloring.  And clean really well.  Even if it looks like the color is gone, often it's not completely removed.
  2. Use a scrap piece of white paper to use as a background.  When you are finished coloring. hold the embossing folder with the white paper behind it.  It really helps to be able to see if there are areas that need to be cleaned.
  3. Spritz very lightly.  Too much water and you get bleed, like in my buttons.
  4. Clean the embossing folder really well.  It will look like it's clean after you use it just once, but if you spritz it again, you'll see a lot of color.  Maybe enough for a second impression if you're lucky!
Before I go, I want to mention a new book by one of my favorite stamp designers.  Melanie Muenchinger has a book out using her A Year of Flowers stamp set.  The set is available at Gina K Designs.  I have it and it is one of my go-to sets.  Because I am copic challenged, I also have the Pressed Flowers set, which makes it a 2 step stamping process.  I love Melanie's designs, and I really love these 2 sets.  Now I want the book, and I'm really being pulled toward her newest state flowers sets. You can see all her sets for GKD here.  So many stamps, so little money time!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Not a card (gasp!)

O.k.  I always post about my cards, but I've tried a new craft, and I love the results so much I just had to share. This summer I attended a day-long class to learn how to use my Theresa Collins Stampmaker (thanks to my hubby for getting it for me for our anniversary, followed by the class 3 days later!).  There were a number of things on display that had been made with the resulting stamps.  Including jewelry.  Metal jewelry.

Are you like me, scratching your head at that one?  Stamping into metal? Of course I couldn't just look at it and wonder, I had to KNOW!  So I asked (I'm good at that, even when it comes to getting directions, like to the room where the class was being held.  Three times!). The pieces were made with metal clay.

Huh?  I know.  I'd never heard of it either.  Turns out there is this really cool clay (a couple of different brands, PMC and Art Clay) that you can work with like clay, then fire with a torch to end up with silver pieces.  Almost like magic!  Well, I looked at it briefly, then put it in the back of my mind for months.  Then a couple of weeks ago I somehow managed to stumble on this great starter kit at Fire Mountain Gems.  Then I stumbled on a link to someone who would get it for me at the lowest price offered by Fire Mountain--Jet Beads.  I was very pleased with the service and the price!  I seemed to have done quite a bit of stumbling that day.  Good thing I was seated while doing it!

I had had this idea since I saw the jewelry at the stamp making class and couldn't wait to try it.  I had my BF, Lisa, stamp a foot of each of her two dogs.  One of the dogs only has three toes on one of his paws, so I made sure she got that one.  I did the same with my daughter's cat.  (Trivia time!  Did you know that a cat's paw print and a dog's paw print differ in that one shows toes and the other doesn't?  A cat can retract its claws, so you only see the pad and toes.  A dog can't retract its claws, so you see those, too.  Impress your friends and family with this next time you see prints in the mud or snow!)

Where was I?  Oh yes.  So, after stamping, I scanned the prints into my computer and used a photo program to clean them up.  Actually, the dog prints were so fuzzy from all that fur that I had to white-out around them before I could even scan them or I would've spent a whole day just working on the images!  Anyway, after cleaning them up, I turned them into negatives to use in the Stampmaker.  Oh, I made them really tiny, too, since I wanted them to fit on something about the size of a dime.  Here is what they looked like in the different stages: (quick!  Which set is from a cat?!)

Once I had these turned into stamps, it was time to work on the jewelry.  I didn't know if Lisa or my daughter would prefer charms or pendants, so I made what I thought would work either way.  I worked the clay and cut out little circles.  Then I stamped it with the paw print stamps. On my daughter's I was able to add some texture to the back as well.  After it dried I fired it with the torch  (it was so cool!!!). The clay shrinks about 8-10%, so I started out with pieces a little bigger than a penny and ended up with finished pieces a little bigger than a dime.  I wanted to darken the silver a little since my skills aren't yet good enough to make nice, smooth, bright silver.  Found out that liver of sulfur is usually used to do this, and of course I didn't happen to have any on hand!  Go figure--I have every other craft supply known to woman.  No place carried it locally, either, and being the wonderfully patient person I am (not!), I didn't want to wait for an order to come in.  Looking online I saw that it might be possible to darken the metal with--drum roll please--hard boiled eggs!  So I hard boiled the last egg I had in the house (who can shop for groceries when there is jewelry to be made?! Actually, I had just finished making Christmas cookies with my younger daughter and Lisa's daughter, so I had a good reason other than crafting obsession for being out of eggs!). I stuck the charms in the egg for about an hour or so. Once they had darkened, I polished them up a bit.Then I jazzed each piece up with some extra beads and even smaller charms I had lying around.  Lisa loves green and Heather, my daughter, loves purple, so I used those colors.  Here are the final results:

Of course, I loved doing this so much that I decided I needed some more things to work on, so I ordered some molds and liver of sulfur.  And I made myself a pendant.
I love it, despite the fact that it's full of mistakes!  I had so much fun that my husband ended up buying me some tools and a book on metal clay jewelry for Christmas.  I just ordered some more clay so that I can make more things and practice getting things really smooth and shiny.  I can't wait for it to get here!

Now, the inspiration for posting these instead of cards came from I Gotta Create.   She is having a "Linky Party" where people can show off their creations.  So I started thinking about what I could show off other than my cards.  Since I had so much fun making the jewelry and needed to show it off somewhere besides Facebook, I decided this would be the perfect place.  I'll get back to my cards soon, I promise!