Thursday, 23 September 2010

Summer Of 94

I sorted through a few of my photographs, and chose five to do layouts with - and I finally finished the first one. The photograph was taken at the New Forest in 1994, and is of my eldest child - my son. He's just been made liaison officer for a writers club - so I'm quite proud and puffed-up at the moment.
I used My Minds Eye papers throughout - using a few scraps along the way for photo matting and the corner detail. The Perfect Pearls was a bargain from my local craft supplier at just over £1, and is Emerald Green. I decided with this layout not to pick the colours of what my son wore that day to reflect in the paper choices, but to use the pale browns, bright greens and grey colours of the background of the photograph instead. I thought this might make the photograph stand out more, so I could be less 'flouncy' and feminine with my embellishments, and let the photo be the main focus of what I hoped would be a more masculine-feeling layout.
As you can see, all those pretty flowers I had made are sat in pots, still waiting to be used *lol*

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Lastly... yep, more flowers :)

I finished the centres of the last flowers last night, deciding to make some mini-scrunchy-roses for the centres. I think these look a little like fancy dog roses...
I used the 'Flower W/Centres' sizzix die in my faithful little sidekick, and inked up five layers for each bloom - bottom two layers in 'Antique Linen', then two layers in 'Weathered Wood', and the top layer in 'Tattered Rose'. Then I scrunched 'em all up, followed by a careful unravelling of them all. Not really a good idea for people with rheumatoid arthritis *lol*
Next step was to twist each petal of every bloom very carefully (I use long-nosed tweezers), as the inking had made the petals slightly damp-ish, and then I set Razzer onto them... drying them all throroughly.
From here, it's just a matter of layering them up and then making the little scrunchy-roses for the centres. These were made by inking up old book paper (I used the Ranger Distress Ink again in 'Antique Linen'), and punching out 1.5cm flower shapes. Layering up five flowers to make one rose, and scrunching up each layer over a small brad used to hold the flowers in place, followed by a blast from Razzer - I tend to use the heat gun on these little blighters until I can smell burning - I like this tatty aged look it can give.
Wait for the roses to cool, and then loosen them a little with your fingertips (or any tool you like to use). Last job with these mini-menaces *lol* is to just ink up the edges to match the colour scheme you'll be using them with. I chose 'Weathered Wood' for the centres of my dog roses.
I really liked the soft colours on these, and am looking forward to creating a layout for them to appear on soon :)

Roses (yes, more paper flowers)

These are more of the flowers I made yesterday - the glue is still wet, as you may notice in the photographs... but I never claimed to be a patient person :) I wanted a damask-like rose to use on a scrapbook page, so it had to be flat enough to use on a layout, but still look 'flouncy' enough too.

I used two dies (Sizzix Flower Layers, die #1 - Flower w/centre, and die Flower Layer #3), cut them from the pages of a book I use specifucally to tear up, and Cosmic Shimmers 'Plum Pudding' and Vibrant Violet'.

I used two of each flower to make the rose. First, the bottom (larger) flowers were die cut, spritzed, then scrunched up and carefully unfolded.  Then I used a cocktail stick to roll up the edges before blasting them with Razzer.

I used the Plum Pudding Cosmic shimmer for these bottom two layers, and a mix of the Plum Pudding and Vibrant Violet for the next two layers of the smaller flower. The smaller flowers weren't scrunched, but had the same process of a cocktail stick used to curl the petals on them, and dried with a heat gun.

Next it was simply a matter of layering them up. I always use Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive - just my personal preference when sticking paper to paper... I think it has excellent hold, and it does dry clear as well as being photo safe and acid free.  Each layer was slightly off-set to the one below, making a nice layered effect.

I made my own tiny roses for the centres - using a six-petal round flower punch - each flower measured 1.5cms, and three layers were used, plus a 2-petal cut-off for the centre of each rose. Tutorials for these paper roses are widely found through the internet - youtube has many examples.  I also made some mini-scrunchy-roses using the same 1.5cm punch, and decided that when I make these Damask-like roses again, I'd definitely prefer the scrunchy centres, as they fit the look much better. All the mini-roses were coloured with the Plum Pudding Cosmic Shimmer Spray.
Well that's about it... though I do have one more type of flower to finish which I will blog whenever I decide what the centres will be :)
Just one more little extra thing though... this was layered up using leftover flowers, and I loved the colour combination using the Plum Pudding mixed with Vibrant Violet, and another flower that had been spritzed with Mango Blaze but had also managed to pick up a little Lava Red from some paper. Anyway, I loved the final flower (5 layers), with an added centre of the scrunchy rose.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Paper Flowers (again... sorry!)

This evening I decided that Hubby could have the remote control for the television, and I would leave him in peace whilst I made some paper flowers. I had bought a Charles Dickens book for only £1 (thank you, poundland... even though I don't get boxes of freebies through the door *lol*), and really liked the font and spacing of the type, and used pages from this to make all the flowers.
I have to admit that under normal circumstances I could never advocate ripping pages out of a book - but this one really was bought just for that purpose. Anyway, I used a flower die and my sidekick to get the basic flower shape, and then covered a whole lot of them in Red Lava Cosmic Shimmer. Note to self for future reference... use latex gloves!

I patted the flowers dry with paper towels and next took one flower, twisted each petal with long-nosed tweezers (same as I make my other flowers) and dried it thoroughly with Razzer (my heat gun). Same goes for all the rest of the flowers, until I had quite a pile... and still no idea exactly how I would make these poinsettia blooms - I was just enjoying the mess I was making :)

I used just three flowers to make one poinsettia, placing them slightly off-centre to each other - so that each layer was NOT directly above any other.

Now I had to decide what to put in the middle. I spritzed a page of the book with Cosmic Shimmer "Mango Blaze" and dried it thoroughly and then punched out some wee ickle mini-mini flowers. I pushed the petals of these little flowers up over a cocktail stick (so they looked like little tiny cups) and then glued three of these to the centre of each flower. Hey, Presto! poinsettia-like flowers.

I think I'll be using these to make a Christmas wreath rather than on a scrapbook layout - but then I guess I'd have to make a lot of other things - mistletoe, holly, ivy and Christmas Roses... *lol*
I did make other flowers this evening - but they need their centres added to finish them, and I haven't decided exactly what to use yet.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Still no scrapbook page...

Well, what with all that tidying, and my sons birthday today (YAY!!!) I decided that I wanted something smaller to craft, so I made a mini-mini-book. It's just under 1.5" by 3", and I tried to use scraps, offcuts, and even photographs already printed out. It's going to be used as a tag for my mums birthday present. It started off as a little plastic box that I had bought from Tesco with little inkers inside.
With the tidying of my craft space, I had lots of ideas about what I wanted to use... and I knew exactly where to find it all too. I am very happy to say that I didn't make much mess, and the craft area is still as neat and tidy as before I started too :) Every photograph except for the one on the front page is in a little pocket, and every page has a little bit of bling on it.
I wanted to make sure that the book, small as it is, would be 'coherent' and with not too much going on, so I kept the embellishments the same for each page, used only 'Tattered Rose' and 'Walnut Stain' inks throughout, and chose my mums favourite black & white photographs of her wedding, my brother and I, her grandmothers, parents, and siblings.
All in all, I really enjoyed making the book, and it took me just a few hours from start to finish - and that's including waiting for the liquid pearls to dry :)
I used super-glue gel to glue the paper onto the plastic box - being careful not to get it too close to any flaps on the box, as the gel sets hard and makes the plastic brittle. The ribbon fastening is wound all round the box, glued with the gel also... as is the button. The ribbon from the top flap simply winds round the button once and this holds the lid closed very well.

Here's hoping Mum enjoys her little extra gift come her birthday in November :)

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Had A Tidy-Up

I came to the conclusion that so many others have reached before me... if you can't see it, you won't use it!  Speaking of craft items, of course. So, I decided to sort out my crafting items that were hidden away in drawers and cupboards... all those things that I use and then just shove back anywhere that they'll fit and then not find them again for six months! I don't have a dedicated craft space as such - so I am slowly but surely taking over the dining room (goodness knows where I'll be sitting the hordes of guests for Christmas dinner this year! *lol*), but using a room and making it a total mess are two entirely different things apparently (so my Hubby has informed me), and so I really had to do some serious sorting out. I used an old shelf for my inks and micas, glimmers and powders... adding my ribbons and books I cut pages out of to make flowers, and sorting out my photographs into a folder and oddments of printed paper also in a folder and placing these on a shelf (stuffing them into a space, more like!). My albums are stacked on top along with Rufus the cuddly toy dog who is still waiting for me to decorate his little kennel. The storage boxes were sorted out a while ago and mainly contain punches, stickers and stamps, as well as flowers and bling. I have way too many flowers... the shoe boxes at the bottom of the shelves are full of foilage and flowers, one drawer is so stuffed I can barely open it, and then there's that vase full of riotious colour - leftovers from bouquets and purchases that I thought I couldn't do without :). I do have a cupboard converted from an emersion heater storage space, as well as a sideboard that are full of tools, glues, tapes, pens, pencils, paints, Christmas embellies, plain 12x12 papers and probably a ton more stuff I can't even remember! This doesn't even begin to include my patterned papers collection... I really do need a craft room!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Online Craft Pound Shop...

Yes, it's true... an online craft shop with items selling from just £1 - well, actually... they're having a sale and there are brilliant items priced at just 25p! I'm in a crafting delirium! *lol* I can find some of the same items at The Range and also at an *almost* local store... but not for 25p, so I'm really happy... just had to share this bargain basement corner of the web that I discovered whilst browsing through Gumtree :)

Online Craft Pound Store

Monday, 13 September 2010

The Wedding...

I scrapped a photograph from my daughters wedding on Friday... I think I would have done a few more, but I ran out of ink... and this page had taken me almost two days to do as it was! I have fiddled with the colour a little on the computer, as my camera seems to wash out the colours and make everything look a bit bland.  Hopefully it's pretty close to how it looks 'in real life'.
I used a Papermania double-sided cardstock called "Wedding Sentiments". I actually preferred the reverse, but thought that the side I did use in the end suited the whole layout best. I did a lot of stitching - most of it is covered with the flowers. Some of the larger lillies are from Papermania - I just cut off all the greenery as it didn't look very nice. The remainder of the flowers - pink lillies and cream roses are all (tediously) cut from some decoupage sheets I had (unfortunately NOT die-cut). The butterflies are material covered balsa embellishments from a company called "Craft For Occasions" - I do get quite a lot of little bits and pieces from this company, as Hobbycraft sell the packets quite cheaply. I found a brilliant bargain at my local shop... Liquid Pearls for £1.70 - the colour is "Pastel Raspberry" and though it looked almost white in the bottle, the colour was a perfect pale pink for this layout. The edges were inked with "Tattered Rose" distress ink, and then sprinkled with another bargain - pale pink embossing powder for £1 a tub. A few brads were used too - also from Papermania.
I still can't believe I'm a mother-in-law now...  But the wedding was lovely - the rain held off for the happy couple, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I didn't get to attend the evening reception - I was ill :( Katie did save some wedding cake for me though, so it's not so bad *lol*

Sunday, 12 September 2010

ARGH!!! I'm a mother-in-law!!!

My beautiful middle daughter got married on the 10th September - that's why I haven't been crafting too much lately - no time! Still, now I have LOTS of photographs to make layouts with. Just a quick post to show off a wedding photograph... and to tell the world (or the few people that read this *lol*) that the new baby due in January will be.... A BOY! I'm already buying up suitable stash for layouts when he arrives - my grand-daughter Lily will make such a brilliant big sister.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

1st Mini-Book!

I made my first mini-book! Well, I made an anniversary book for my parents back in March - but that was more of a photograph album with a few added extras. I altered a notebook for my daughter to use as a special diary... but this book I made from scratch, and I'm quite pleased with it so far (not quite finished yet).
The book is based on a tutorial by Laura at Follow The Paper Trail, though she uses envelopes to make pages, and I cut and folded 12x12 pages for everything. I chose the Urban Couture collection from Basic Grey, as I liked the earthy tones and the distressed appearance of the pages. The actual outer of the book is made from a cereal box (cut up and doubled up) as I didn't have thin chipboard handy :) Each page has a flap added to it, which I decided to use as double thickness so that it was sturdier and I was also able to use the off-cuts left over from the construction of the pages.

Each page also has a little file made from scrapping paper and decorated with a tab made from the leftover cuts of Basic Grey papers. Each flap and file was inked with Walnut Stain Distress Ink. The construction from beginning to as it is now took all day - without special dies and handy envelopes to cut up, it was a little fiddly... but thoroughly enjoyable - except for the broken nail I suffered :( So please excuse the state of my short nails showing in any photograph - I'm thoroughly embarrassed about my nails *lol* I'll be adding journalling slips and flowers, ribbon, and swirly inking on the files too... all ready for a few photographs (have no idea which ones yet though!). The ribbons and charms (and even tassels) used to decorate the binding outer edge are all from my stash drawer... I've been waiting to use the little key charms for so long now - I used to have them dangling from my mobile phone (cheaper than phone charms!), and there's also a mini-mini metal tag that reads: "My Heart". Awww... sweet! *lol*