Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Well, I had to wait until Mother's Day to post the card I made for mine, since she reads my blog!  But I think it's a fun card that can be adapted to many different situations.

It's called a box-pleated card and I read about it here.  The originator is in the U.K., so I had to come up with my own measurements.  Here's how I did it (after a little trial and error!).

Cut a piece of heavyweight cardstock that is 7" by 5 1/4".  Now score the shorter side at 3/4", then starting with the last score line each time score in this pattern:  1/4", 1", 1/4", 1/2", 1/4", 1", 1/4", 1/2", 1/4", 1", 1/4".  I used the Scor-Pal and lined the paper up at 1/4" on the left edge to start, scored at 1" (to get 3/4") and then moved the paper so the score line I just made was now in the 4-inch groove, then did the 1/4", moved that score line to the 4-inch groove, etc.  It was easy to line up the top and bottom this way so that each subsequent score line is straight.  You should end up with a piece of paper that looks like this (minus the black lines - I had to draw those in so you could actually see the score lines in the photo):   

Now turn the cardstock a quarter turn to that the score lines are horizontal and fold along the scored lines in the following manner:  valley (right sides together), mountain (back sides together), mountain, valley, valley, mountain, mountain, valley, valley, mountain, mountain, valley.  You should end up with three 1" box pleats raised up.

If you started with a piece of paper 7" long, you can now trim each edge (the right and the left side) to 1/2".  This way it's straight and even, since depending on the weight of the paper you use, you could need a little more than the 6 1/2" all those score lines add up to (guess how I know this!). 

Cut another piece of cardstock 5 1/2" by 8 1/2" and score in the middle for your card base.  Turn the box-pleated cardstock over and attach red-line tape to the four 1/2" strips and adhere to the front of the cardstock base.  I stuck the top one down first, then the bottom one, and the two in the middle just popped right into place with a little push down.

Now just decorate the pleats with 3 pieces of decorative paper cut a little smaller than the pleats.  I even cut small strips of decorative paper to fill in the 1/2" tunnels. 

Pretty cool, huh?  Since Mom is a card-maker too, I have to try to come up with new things whenever I make her a card!   

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there~

Saturday, April 24, 2010

ATC Jams

Oh dear, I've been neglecting my poor blog because of a new obsession - ATC Jams.  It's all my mom's fault - she said I have so much STUFF that I should start making ATC's to use up some of the bits and pieces.  (She has a stamp that I need - it says "It's not trash - it's ephemera".  Definitely me!)
Since I have some non-papercrafting followers (welcome, all!),  ATC's are Artist Trading Cards - little pieces of artwork measuring 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".  Artists trade them just like baseball cards.  Here's one that my aunt made - not sure if you can see her beautiful handwriting around the edges that says "Art is in the heart".  I think that's pretty clever. 

Now the Jam part - it's a collaborative form of art, where an ATC is created by three different participants.  The first person creates a background (actually 3 identical ones), sends them to a second person who adds something and then sends them on to participant #3 .  This person completes the artwork and then sends a final version to the other two.  There are some who say JAMS stands for Just Add More Stuff, but I'm told the actual genesis is more along the lines of a band having a jam session and combining different instruments to make beautiful music.  Being a musical person, I like that interpretation best!

So I signed up with a Yahoo group to participate and got hooked.  Being a newcomer to the group, I haven't gotten alot of #2's and #3's to work on yet, but I've been having a blast creating the #1's.  I've been able to go through my stash of handcrafted background papers and turn many of them into ATC bases.  Here's one that I created:

This was done on wet watercolor paper that was drip-dropped with different colors of watercolor paint in a semi-random fashion.  I used Twinkling H2O's, which have a mica base that leaves a nice shimmery finish.  When it was dry, I overstamped the flowers.  I'll have to post the finished ATC I get back - it will be fun to see what the other two do with it.

Here's one that I was the third person on.  The originator made the base of the blue polka-dotted paper and sent it to my mom.  She added the black and white doodles (which are called Zentangles - I keep saying "NO"  I don't want to learn how to do these - I don't need another thing to do!  It's not as easy to master as you might think - she's actually taken several classes in the art of Zentangling). 

I added the silver quarter-circle, which was a recycled foil safety-seal from a jar of something or other die cut with a Nestabilities pinking circle die and then hammered with Tim Holtz' texture hammer.  Oh - and the "Awesome" stamp.  Couldn't decide between that and "Inspire", but the funky font on this one seemed to go with the Zentangle drawing.

Not sure I'll get rid of many bits and pieces this way, but it's still fun!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tissue Paper Flowers

Tissue paper flowers seem to be all the rage right now. These are some of the ones I've made recently: 

The technique is the same, the look just varies depending on the original shape of the die cuts and the paper you use.  The brown ones are made from old sewing patterns, the multi-colored ones from scrap paper that I used as a work surface for various inking and painting projects, and the others are the ones I want to show you today. 

I was separating some pretty napkins down to 1-ply for another project and had all this nice white napkin material left.  It seemed a shame to throw it away, so I smooshed some Distress ink pads (the three in the picture above are milled lavender, chipped sapphire and worn lipstick) on my non-stick craft sheet, spritzed with water and laid the folded up napkin on top to absorb the colored water.  Don't worry about getting 100% of the napkin saturated identically - it looks more natural a little mottled.  I left some napkins folded up to dry, but found they were hard to separate later, so if you can carefully unfold the layers and lay them out to dry, I thought that worked best.  

After they were dry, I used my Spellbinders scalloped circle dies to cut them out.  You can fold the napkin back up and cut several layers at once.  I used 8 layers and cut 2 of the smallest small scalloped circles (approx. 1 3/8" dia.) and 2 of the smallest large scalloped circles (approx. 1 5/8" dia.).  So this one flower has 32 layers!

Stack them all up with the smallest on top (not perfectly straight), use a mini hole punch to punch a tiny hole in the middle and then insert a brad - doesn't matter what color since it won't show in the end.

Now start with the top layer and pull it up, scrunching it as small as you can.  

Separate each successive layer and do the same thing until the whole thing looks like this: 

Now gently peel back the layers to unfold the flower.  I left the middle scrunched up a little tighter.  What do you think - carnation?  ranunculus?  or something else?

I needed a quick card (understand quick for me usually means only 2 hours instead of 5!) for a friend who was recently in the hospital, so decided to use this flower since I could hand deliver the card - it definitely wouldn't survive the post office!

Didn't have time to make a background, so I chose to start with a piece of printed paper from a DCWV matstack (and yes, it feels like I'm "cheating" when I use store-bought patterned paper).  I cut out the scalloped oval center with a Spellbinders oval die and sponged milled lavender around all the edges so it wasn't quite so cheery.

Used the Cuttlebug Leafy Branch folder to make the center panel (which is underneath the purple layer).  The raised areas were swiped with old paper Distress ink and more Distress ink was sponged around the edges - antique linen this time.  The corners were a happenstance leftover from cutting out something else.  I paper pierced around the corner edges before distressing them and adding the brads.

The tag was something I saw recently on another blog, but I've lost the link.  I'm sorry!  Anyway, I love the three-dimensional look to it - it's just done by bending it over your finger first one way and then the other.  Do stamp the sentiment and distress the edges first!  I made the card base flush with the purple layer - it was already big enough and I just didn't think another layer added anything in this case.

Enjoy experimenting with this technique!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Technique Junkies Technique by Design Challenge

I'm on a roll today - actually, I don't have the car to go running around - so you get two for the price of one!

This is a card I did for the Technique Junkies Technique by Design April challenge.  The Technique Junkies newsletter is a wonderful print and/or online bi-monthly newsletter full of - what else, techniques!  If you'd like information about subscribing, it's here.

For this challenge, we were given the sketch and had to use two different TJ techniques on the finished project.  It was fun - I just pulled out a drawer full of my homemade background papers and mixed and matched until I came up with a combination I liked.

Of the two largest pieces, the left-hand panel is a sanded Cuttlebugged piece, and the right-hand side is a Saran Wrap background.  The upper RH corner is just part of a rejected stamped image colored with dye-based ink ('cause I thought it needed the black for balance) and in real life, has a little more contrast against the background.  The two smallest strips are crumpled distressed paper and yes, those are regular sewing snaps at the bottom.  The main image is a resist technique called Joseph's coat (stamp from Stampin' Up; circle cut with Nestabilities circle die).  I have a particular affinity for resist techniques:

Okay, it's not exactly the same technique (I believe this is a crayon resist with black tempura paint), but this picture of mine is hanging in my mom's kitchen and must be from about the 4th grade.  I still can't draw, but have always loved color and crafts and creating!  But I hope my results today are are little more - well, refined....artistic......something! 


Drunken Scotch

Has it been a week already and no new posts?  I'll try to do better.

Had a playdate with my mom and my aunt where I taught them a technique called Drunken Scotch (and no, I didn't tell Mom the name until AFTER we were finished!).  I read about it on KAT Toys website here.  I'll give you our take on it.

First, we needed some die cuts, but I forgot to bring the chipboard, so Aunt D dug through the trash (excuse me, recycling) for some empty cracker boxes.  And to my scrapbooking sister, yes, I know - cracker boxes are NOT archival.  But I figure my cards won't care.  

We used a Spellbinders die called Timeless Heritage to cut out some keys and lockets.  Cut them out with the Wizard, but it was a tiiigghhtt squeeze.  They really don't need the second step of embossing because of the finish that's going on them.

It's pretty easy - just squirt some glue on the diecuts, spread it out to completely cover (we used our trusty fake credit cards) and while it's still wet, drop a few drops of alcohol inks on top of the glue.  We used a couple of different shades of brown, which all kind of ran together on the wet glue. 

Now zap it with the heat gun until it starts bubbling.  You want to be careful and not really let the bubbles burst, because then you're left with holes in the coating.  If you look closely, you can see the spots with the bare chipboard in this picture.

So just keep the heat gun moving around so that it bubbles and then deflates, until the whole thing is dry.  If you do get some holes, don't panic - you can fill them in later with a Sharpie.

The reason it's called Drunken Scotch is because the creator used Scotch clear glue for the technique.  None of us had any of that, so we tried a few others and the one that worked best for us was Elmer's Glue Pen.  I think it used to be clear, although it's turned kind of amber with age - but it still worked just fine. 

That's it - pretty easy, huh?  I did notice that it was still tacky a day or two later - in fact, one of the pieces was sitting underneath another sheet of paper and the paper stuck to it.  Now that was going to be a problem for making a card!  So I took my Embossing Buddy and pounced it over the top and then dusted it off on my jeans.  No more sticky!  In fact, it dulled the finish down and made it look even more rusty, which I liked.

Oh, you want a card with it?  Oh, okay - nothing fancy.  It's a Stampin'Up background stamp (French Script), a Fiskars clear stamp for the sentiment and two Spellbinders dies for the middle piece, all sponged with Distress ink.  Used the Martha Stewart picket fence border punch for the border and the locket is hanging from a small brad.

Thought the turquoise added a little spark of color in that sea of browns!

Enjoy - but don't get too drunk!  Moderation is my mantra~    

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hi there

o-li-o: a miscellaneous mixture; a hodgepodge
(from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary)

That's what my blog will be - a miscellaneous mixture; a hodgepodge of paper crafting techniques, experiments and hopefully, cards. As a short introduction, I originally was a jewelry maker - nothing fancy, just liked to string beads. This papercraft obsession all
started a few years ago when my mom and aunt gave me a few of their leftover rubber stamping supplies "so I could play too".

I had no interest in adding another craft since the beading was already my thing, but they started showing me a few techniques and pretty soon I was hooked (there's nothing better than the first time you heat emboss something, is there?) Now the papercrafting has eclipsed the jewelry making, although I try to
combine the two occasionally.

I'm lucky to live in the same community as my mom and aunt and seem to be the d
esignated keeper of the memories between the three of us. I decided to start a blog to catalog some of our creations and experiments. I'm fairly good at recalling how something was made, but there are plenty of cards and backgrounds that I just look at and think how in the world did I do that?

So I thought I'd try writing it all down - for us, and if I inspire someone else along the way, I will be humbled.

Okay, enough. Let's get to the good stuff. I love, love, love to make backgrounds and have umpteen drawers full of background papers (color-coded, of course - something else about me) that are just waiting to become cards. That's where I fall down on the job - there's always a new technique I'd rather try. Mayb
e this blog will force me to actually finish a card - lol.

So without further ado, here's a card I just made that I think will be a
birthday card for my hubby:

I was inspired by this card on the Hero Arts website created by Shari Carroll. I was drawn to the white fleur-de-lis design and although I don't have that specific Hero Arts stamp, I knew I had something similar (in fact, it's just an el-cheapo foam stamp from Michaels - made by Plaid Enterprises).

While the designer started with a blank piece of cardstock and added color and stamped designs for the background, I wanted to use up something from the drawers full of background papers. I had this very dark alcohol ink background leftover from Christmas cards three years ago that jumped right out at me.
I can’t tell you exactly which colors of alcohol ink it was made with, but do remember we used both PiƱata and Ranger brand alcohol inks. It didn't get used then because it was just too dark and murky. I thought the bold white design on top would perk it right up.

Wasn’t sure how well embossing would “take” over the alcohol ink background, but I inked up the foam stamp with
Ranger’s Snowcap Pigment Ink and embossed with Ranger’s Seafoam White embossing powder. It worked just fine!

Used a 1 1/8" punch to cut the squares, trying to get some of the white embossing on each one, and then arranged them randomly ( I learned this technique originally as Serendipity Squares, I believe). Tried several background colors against the squares and finally decided on Stampin’ Up’s Kiwi Kiss. I don’t have very much Stampin’ Up paper, but just LOVE this shade of green.

Then it needed black to set it off and since the main panel was already A2 size, I had to come up with something bigger for the frame. I have a new set of Cuttlebug folders that I ordered directly from Provo Craft called Asian Bundle that includes four of the larger 5 x 7 folders.

I chose the one called Oriental Weave and embossed a piece of black cardstock. I then swiped Colorbox black pigment ink over the top of the raised area and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. It just made the layer a little shinier and sturdier, but it’s hard to see that in the photos.

Before mounting the main panel on the black layer, I cut out the center (oh, did I also tell you that I’m frugal? No need to waste all that embossed black paper under the main panel!) by tracing on the back with a white pencil and then using my nifty Fiskars finger-knife and a straight edge to cut slightly inside the traced lines, leaving a 3/8" frame to put under the main panel.

It needed an embellishment of some sort, so I chose a spiraled
wire piece (which is actually a Christmas tree ornament hanger that Aunt D found last Christmas and shared with us). It's "hanging" from a snap-type eyelet (which I have tons of and love the look of, but I can never seem to set them with either the Crop-A-Dile, the Big Bite or the old-fashioned hand setter. If you have a trick, please let me know!) Anyway, after I’d mangled both the front & back of the snap, I gave up and just used a glue dot to adhere it to the card. It’s only slightly dented! The wire is glued on with a Pioneer craft gluestick, set under something heavy for the night.

The final white card base is approximately 6½ x 5”. I’ll have to look for an envelope that fits or make one myself. That was one of the pieces of advice from my mom early on – choose the envelope first and then make the card – but my brain doesn’t work that way.

One project done – yeah! Gee, this post took almost as long as making the card. Hopefully this will get easier....