Monday, 17 November 2014

Beautiful Autumn colours...

... don't suit me to wear, but I really do love seeing them at this time of year.  I enjoyed the oranges and reds of my previous post so much, I thought I'd play with the large "thanks" stamp from the Seasonally Scattered set:

I considered colouring the stamp with markers, but decided in the end it would take too long and I went with the "baby wipe inking method".  It's probably not called that, but that's what it is in my head anyway.  Just put a few baby wipes in a pile on a waterproof surface and select a few colours from your re-inkers.  I used  pumpkin pie, daffodil delight, tangerine tango,and real red.  Drop on some random blobs over the centre of your baby wipe with each colour. I think I did about 7 blobs of each. It doesn't matter if they don't quite join, as they will spread when you press down the stamp on the baby wipe pad.  Test it first to make sure you're getting the desired effect, adjust, then stamp away.  I got about 10 impressions out of one baby wipe pad - it's not because it dries out, but because the blobs all blend into one colour and the effect is not differentiated enough. I made 10 different but similar cards:

I discovered the edges of the stamp are great for decorating the edge of the card too!  They are brighter than the photo IRL but I'm not very good with the camera!  I also lined three of the red cards:

Friday, 14 November 2014

Inspired again... StampinUp's best upline!

I got a charming birthday card last week from lovely Vicky, isn't it pretty?

I found myself wondering how she stamped the background until I realised it is current designer paper.  But by then it was too late! I had set my mind to working out how to produce similar paper by stamping.  There is a super pretty little bunch of leaves in the Holiday Home polymer stamp set but they are in such a tight group I couldn't see how to get the colours different without an awful lot of individual colouring.  In a moment of inspiration I realised yet another benefit to photopolymer!  I simply cut them up and mounted them like this: 
Then I just stamped away in a series of different autumn colours, being sure to rotate the block to avoid a pattern appearing.   I was really pleased with my own personal "DSP":

Now I have to be extra careful not to loose the stamps as they are very small.  I heard a tip yesterday that I will pass on to you:  as soon as you break open your stamps, use an ink that will permanently stain them even after cleaning so that you can see them when they go astray!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Use it or lose it...

... think Big.

Ok, esteemed reader, put your hand up if you have some 12x12 designer paper you don't love.  You know, the stuff that's not in that pile you get out and stroke every so often (other people do that too, right?).  Maybe it's that garish stripe, or the wishy washy geometric print, or the bit that has a rip out of one side?

Oh, you DO have some?  Well, my challenge to you, dear reader, is to use it or lose it!

I had a couple of pieces of 12x12 that just weren't ringing my bell and I was about to dump them, when I thought back to the cards I received on my recent birthday.  They were nearly all quite large, but usually when I make cards, they are small.  Why?  Could it be because I'm a little bit precious with my paper and don't like to actually use it up? As I had no such reservations for my unloved paper, today I chopped it up and used it to make lovely big A5 cards instead of the usual A6. Two sympathy cards out of some black and white butterfly damask-y paper, two birthdays out of a very loud stripe.  I easily found some StampinUp matching A4 cardstock to matt and mount them, a bit of ribbon and a greeting, and ta da, some nice big cards.  These two are mounted on one of the new in-colours, "hello honey", a lovely warm yellow:

Guess what?  Turns out I rather like the paper now that it's on the cards!

Thanks for coming, do visit tomorrow for another designer paper related post!

Helen xxx

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Many Merry Stars...

...part 2.

Q: What is better than crafting?

A: Crafting with chocolate, durrr.

You may recall my post about SU's super Many Merry Stars kit recently.  I ran a class using this brilliant kit with my lovely Monday ladies yesterday.  Each one got 5 stars, one of each size and colour, to make up as she wished, either as boxes, 3-d decorations or to keep as stars to stick on cards etc.  They loved the huge selection of embellishments and the stars they made look fab!  There were loads of bits and pieces left over that they took with them, and we were all very sparkly as we left... We split the cost of the kit between them, and I resolved the dilemma of what to do with the biggest star by filling it with choccies and doing a free raffle between those taking part.

I reinforced the base and the lid by cutting 2 large stars out of the packaging that protected the kit, and used some gorgeous washi tape to keep it neat round the edges (thank you lovely Vicky for sending me yours when I ran out xxx)

Would you like to do a Many Merry Stars workshop with me (chocolate included of course)?  Get in touch on 01737 762078

PS There are some good tutorials on youtube such as this one and this one on how to make opening boxes out of this kit, and I have also had success with these simple methods:

1:  A flap in the top (or bottom) of the box. Before you assemble the box, take the top star and select a round or square framelit to fit. Position it in the middle of the star and run them through your Big Shot, but position the top cutting pad only two thirds across the framelit. This way one third of the shape is still in tact.  You will need to add something on the flap to lift it up with as it is such a good fit; a little split pin (brad) works well!  This would be great for an advent calendar project.

2:  Just leave the two flaps of the top point of the star open.  Remove the adhesive strips from both sides and punch holes in the top of the box. Thread thin ribbon through the holes and tie a bow or parcel loop to close.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Happy Birthday to you...

... is playing in the back of my mind right now because I just made a card for a musical friend of mine:

If I could find some washi tape that looks like a keyboard I'd have used that, but as I couldn't, I used my stampin up scoreboard and a pencil! The 18 is glimmer paper cut out with my new and already very useful number die from Stampin Up. Sorry about the gloomy photo, no sunshine for us today!