Saturday, 28 February 2009

Tulips


I finally got my hands on some Copic markers after a journey to a nearby craft store. These alcohol-based markers have been all the rage in the stamping world lately, and it seems everyone is using them or a similar brand. I wanted to see what the fuss was about.

I decided to use the markers to colour in this tulip stamped card, which was destined for the monthly card lottery of persnickety yahoogroup. I was working under the wire to get it finished before the end of Feb!

Incredibly, this was the first time I used this lovely Blockhead stamp, even though I've owned it for years! It really suits colouring.

The image was stamped with black StazOn onto white glossy cardstock. I soon discovered that alcohol-based markers move the StazOn ink, so I had some smearing. I suppose next time I'll have to try embossing, which is always a bit odd on glossy stock.

Although I don't have a lot of formal art training, I did study ceramic painting for four years with a Chinese art teacher while we were living in Malaysia. Some of the basic painting techniques have been invaluable in my paper crafting.

While using the Copic markers to colour this tulip image, I used techniques of shading and highlighting to create more depth with the image.


The image was first coloured with pastel shades, and then a harmonic medium shade, followed by a darker shade, where used. For example, on one tulip card, I used a light peach, followed by a medium orange, and finishing with a red marker.

For one card, I left the background plain and white. On the other card, I used both a medium-size make-up sponge and a small eye shadow applicator to add in background tones of yellow and sky blue pigment stamp ink. The small applicator allows you to get into those tiny areas. You should spread and blend the colour into the background by using circular motions with the sponge. Pigment ink works best for this process because it stays wetter longer and is easy to blend into the background.

To finish the card, I used some much cherished K&Co. Hannah cardstock and cut out an oval shape in one layer. I adhered the tulip image to the back of the cut out, and layered this onto the folded card, also K&Co. Hannah cardstock. As you can see, ribbon and other embellishments were added.


Having used these Copic markers for the first time, I'm already wanting more shades! If you are interested in Copic markers, you can visit their site for more information.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Happy Birthday, Germaine!



Monday, 23 February, was my friend Germaine's birthday. I am so blessed to have her in my life. We've known each other for a number of years -- having first crossed paths on techniquejunkies e-group.

She and I have lived in some of the same places around the world, and it seemed like I was following her. I was in England while she was in Houston; I was in Houston, while she was in Abu Dhabi; she was in England, while I was in Abu Dhabi. And now, guess what? We now both live in England. Fate or what?

She and I are trying to figure out how we can move her home in Cambridge closer to my home near London! If we were closer, our husbands know that we would be crafting together all the time.

Now to the card . . . it was made with a Cuttlebug embossing folder and white textured cardstock. After I ran it through the Cuttlebug, I painted it with a white pearlescent acrylic and allowed it to dry for a few hours.

I then used sponges and stiff bristle brush to colour the flowers and vines on the embossed image. I used acrylics for this, but stamping ink can also be used. You want to use a 'dry brush' technique: Don't over saturate the stiff bristle brush or sponge with ink/paint. Remove excess by brushing onto a paper towel. Now lightly move the sponge or brush across the top of the embossed image. Don't worry if you get ink/paint outside the lines because the next step will help to hide any boo-boos.

Now you need Twinkling H20s, Cosmic Shimmer or a similar product in a gold tone. Use a narrow sponge, dip it in the pot of gold, and start rubbing it over your embossed and coloured image. You can wipe some of the excess off the high points, if you wish. You can add more into the low points of the embossed image, especially trying to mask any colour that's gone astray.

When you are finished, you are left with this Soft Finish Technique. The gold softens the colours that you've dry brushed onto your embossed image.

The stamps are from Close to My Heart. Die Cuts With a View metallic cardstock helped to enhance the gold and pearl tones of the embossed image. A gold ribbon and a pearl completed the picture.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Elzybells New Stamps Have Arrived!!!

I've been wanting to buy some more Elzybells stamps -- after I bought a bundle of them before Christmas to make my holiday cards. Now I have the perfect excuse!

Elzybells has just released some brand new stamps. Please take a look at Elzybells Art Stamps website to see what's new and available.

In addition, my stamping friend Maria, who is a Design Team Member for Elzybells, has been creating some seriously lovely things with the new stamps. Please take a moment and have a look at Maria's blog, too.

There is a new tea stamp set that I really need! After all, I am the teawife!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Kreativ Blogger


I am very tickled that my stamping buddy Germaine nominated my blog for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Not only did she nominate me for this award, but she said some really sweet things about me! You know, Germaine, that I feel exactly the same way about you. I am so lucky to have 'met' you years ago on TechniqueJunkies . . . and followed you around the world! Now we're both in England at the same time, and I might finally have a chance to meet you in person.

Please have a look at Germaine's blog; she is a very talented, energetic and motivational stamper. She's amazing at thinking outside the box and coming up with really unique projects. I don't know how she thinks up all the different crafted gift ideas.

As part of being nominated for the Kreativ Blogger, I now must nominate some of my favourite stamping bloggers and follow these guidelines:

1. The nominee may put the logo on their blog.
2. Put a link to the person who sent you the award.
3. Nominate 5 blogs.
4. Put links to their blogs
5. Leave a message for your nominees.

I would like to select the following wonderful stampers and their blogs for the Kreative Blogger Award:

Dianne
What can I say about Dianne's whimsical and clever creating style? I just love her stuff, which is so inspiring.

Linda
Linda is a such a lovely and loyal person, who creates really fun cards with lots of layers and embellishments.

Francine
Francine's Musing Studio blog is filled with bright, bold, unique artwork. So artistic!

Maria
I haven't known Maria for long, but I can tell you: I love her work! She has a great sense of color, balance, layers and embellishments.

Beckie's Lilac Lemon Designs
This isn't a blog but Beckie's website, showing off her fantastic rubber stamps, which you must see!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Post Pals

After the previous blog posting about making handmade cards for Cancer Cure, my stamping friend Jo also told me about Post Pals . She makes cards and sends letters and greetings all the time to some of the children, who are very ill and in need of some happy messages.

If anyone of you would like to leave information and a link to your favourite charity that accepts handmade cards, please leave a comment on this message. I'll gather any links and post them in the blog, too.

Handmade Cards for Cancer Care

Just saw something wonderful in the shops . . . Create a Card for Cancer Care campaign for card makers to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care. They are providing plastic sleeves for us to make and donate our A6 handmade cards.

You can find out more about it by clicking here.

You can find the plastic sleeves for the campaign at either Marie Curie Cancer Care stores or in stationery stores carrying 'do crafts.' The bags are free.

The deadline for submitting cards is 30 April.

What a great idea; I'm surprised that more charities don't do this. There are a lot of crafters out there who like have a purpose and goal to their stamping activities. I understand that 'do crafts' and the cancer care folks have been doing this for a few years now. Wonderful thing . . . and I hope all my stamping buddies can contribute something.

Hugs, Kathy

Friday, 13 February 2009

Paisley Pockets



Happy birthday to my two stamping friends, Germaine and Beckie, who both were born on 23 February!

Our Stampers of England yahoogroup has a birthday database, so we make cards for our friends on their special day.

I went into the crafting room this past weekend to see what I could come up with, and I decided to play with the Cuttlebug again.



This was the first time I used the paisley embossing folder; I ran a textured white cardstock through the Cuttlebug. Then I painted some of the embossed cardstock with acrylics. I let them completely dry.

Then I distressed the painted embossed cardstock by laying them flat on the table (make sure it's covered), and I ran an ink pad over the top of the cardstock. You want to make sure that you are only catching the high points with the ink pad.



In addition to the above technique, I also used the acrylic paints inside my embossing folder and ran the cardstock/embossing folder through the Cuttlebug. Please remember to wash your embossing folder immediately after using acrylics, as they like to dry and become permanent. I allowed the cardstock to completely dry, and then I used the distressing technique outlined above.



As I was staring at these two-toned paisley prints, I kept thinking about denim and paisley pockets. I just couldn't get that image out of my head, so I made myself a little pocket template and used some denim paper and lots of different embellishments, and you can see the results.

The happy birthday stamp is an unmounted rubber stamp from Inkadinkado.



I've left the pocket open at the top so you can slip in a tag with a ribbon, or a piece of material that looks like a handkerchief, or a lollipop, or a special note, or whatever is flat enough to fit in the pocket. It could be fun!!

If you notice, there is a trim at the top of the pocket. You know how the 4.25 x 5.5 inch pieces of cardstock are just slightly bigger than the Cuttlebug embossing folders? Well, the trim was the leftover bit at the top that didn't emboss.

If you don't have blue jean paper, you can make your own by distressing a piece of blue cardstock and then use a marker to add in stitch lines.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Birthday Card Album

On 11 January, I celebrated my birthday, and I received some lovely handmade cards from my friends in the English Stampers yahoogroup.

They were so special and beautiful that I felt I needed a way to keep them to enjoy and look at later. I decided to make a birthday card album using cardstock and ribbon.


The front and back covers were reinforced with thin cardboard, and then coloured cardstock was laid over to cover them. An ink pad was used to distress the cardstock. Stickers were used as embellishments and chipboard glitter alphabet letters were also attached. Velvet ribbon and matching satin ribbon were used to tie the book together. Matching cardstock was used inside the book to display the received birthday cards.

Have a look at the wonderful things I received!


The card above was made by my dear friend, Germaine Ferrao. She created a three-dimensional look by cutting out the flowers and sticking on a butterfly embellishment. She also used a cuttlebug embossing folder to create extra depth. Very lovely! You can see more of Germaine's artwork on her blog.


The card in pink tones on the left was designed by Janice Bennett, and it features a silhouette stamp and glittery floral embellishments and a cuttlebug background on a shimmery pink and pearlescent cardstock. Smashing!

The sophisticated and stunning card on the right is from Linda Elbourn. I love everything about this card, from the shades of green, to the delicate stamp and the background flourish, to the sparkly rhinestones. Thank you so much, Linda!


Caroline Hinchcliffe created the adorable gardening girl in purple tones above. Lots of sweet floral embellishments with rhinestones. For more of Caroline's artwork, see her blog.


Linda Wright sent me a fairy cake for my birthday -- but fortunately, it has no calories. LOL! Linda has used lots of layers to create texture and interest in this gorgeous plaid card with trims and ribbons. Click here to see Linda's blog.


I just love Elzybell's stamps, and I was tickled that Maria Adams used one of Elzybell's designs in the birthday card that she sent me. I love Maria's creations, and this card was just the perfect mix of harmonic colors, embellishments and trims. Be sure to visit Maria's site often as you don't want to miss any of her new cards:


My dear friend Sue just loves this retired tulip stamp set from Stampin' Up! She was so happy to finally snag it on ebay, and she used it to make this stunning textural and layered card for me. Sue is one of our English stamping friends who lives in Abu Dhabi, where I had been living and hosting craft gatherings. Here is a big wave out to my crafting buddies in Abu Dhabi. You see me waving, gals?!?! I miss you all!


Beckie has her own line of stamps, Lilac Lemon Designs, and this lovely art nouveau lady is one of her designs. She has unmounted high-quality red rubber stamp sheets with these vintage lovelies, so stop by and have a look around her site. The tones of this card are wonderful, and I particularly like the shading and colouring.


Above is a sweet and cheerful card from Anesha (see her blog here). Anesha is a very creative stamper, and I love everything she makes! She's a busy girl right now, and I want to wish her well with her upcoming move. Take care of yourself, Anesha!

I hope you all have enjoyed looking at my birthday cards. I also want to encourage any of you crafting ladies living in the United Kingdom to join our stamping yahoogroup, Stampers of England. We are a friendly group of ladies . . . our group is a cosy size . . . we host art mingles and swaps, support and inspire one another, and do other fun stuff. We'd love to have you join us. Click here for more information.