About Me

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I'm a part-time primary school teacher, who started papercrafting 8 years ago, when I had a fancy to make my own Christmas cards. Since then, I have tried all sorts of techniques and styles - and I kind of like them all. So my work is very varied, which keeps me interested - and my crafty stash growing!! As well as cards, I love working with boxes and canvases - and I'm always seeking inspiration for new projects.

Monday, 15 April 2013

CCM #89 - Card/Tag and Matching Gift Bag/Box/Wrap

So, this week it is my turn to set the challenge! And I as I love things that match, I decided the challenge would be to make a card or tag, AND a matching gift bag, box or gift wrap. You need the two elements to be in with a chance of a prize.
Our sponsors this week are The Paper Shelter, who are offering a $20 gift certificate, and also Woodware.

I chose to use an image from Paper Shelter for my projects - Home Sweet Home - the idea being they can then be given to someone who is moving house!! 

 I started by printing the image in 3 different sizes onto Joanna Sheen Elegance Card, and coloured the images in at the same time, so I wouldn't forget what colours I was using. This is only my second real attempt at Promarkers, and I was really glad that I had bought some of the fine tips, as the smallest image was, well, very small!!  

 At the start, I had no real idea of what colour scheme I wanted to use - it just evolved as I worked. The colours I used were: Almond, Sunkissed Pink, Coral, Blush, Walnut, Henna, Teracotta, Spice, Sandstone, Umber, Saffron, Soft Peach, Orange, Apple and Forest Green. I cut the images out with Spellbinders square dies, and used Vintage Photo to ink them whilst they were still in the die.
I then started work on the tag and box. Sitting on my shelf for quite a while now has been a tube of Kroma Crackle. I bought it with some other projects in mind, but thought this would be a good opportunity to try it out. The idea was that I would end up with a lovely crackled finish to my pieces. So, from the Papermania Bare Basics range, I used an Instant Pillow Box and Kraft tag. I also decided to prepare a piece of Papermania Kraft cardstock in the same way, in order to be able to match the card to the tag and box.
I painted all the pieces with Eco Green Acrylic Paint in Pumpkin, as I wanted a little of the orange showing through the cracks on the finished work. 

I then mixed some more Eco Green Paint (this time in Mulch) with some Kroma Crackle ...

.... and spread it onto each piece. And this is when it started to go a bit wrong. I am obviously very stingy when it comes to products that are not particularly cheap. And this is one of them. So, I didn't really get a very thick layer on any of the pieces. 
And as it wasn't thick, it wasn't particularly even either. At this point I was not happy, but decided to leave it overnight and see what happened.
But even the following day, it was obvious that it hadn't worked in the way it was supposed to - there were some very small areas of cracks, but really not what I had hoped for. This is definitely a product that you have to be prepared to use a lot of, to get a good result. So, I had a choice. I could abandon this attempt and try the same process again, try something completely different, or see what I could salvage. As I said before, I am rather stingy, so decided to carry on and see if I could make something out of the disaster.
 So, when in doubt, get out the Distress Inks!! I covered all the pieces with Vintage Photo. Part of the result of this was to dislodge some of the Kroma Crackle that had cracked - but it actually didn't look too bad.
Next, I tried out another new product - Creative Expressions Gilding Wax. I used mainly Enchanted Gold, but added some Autumn Bronze too. You can see that this really highlighted the areas that had some cracking on them.
Once I had buffed it up, I was actually really pleased with the results! Kroma Crackle needs sealing otherwise it all flakes off, so I finished off with a layer of Indigo Blu Slap It On Matte.
The rest of the materials I used for matting and layering were: Craftworks Cards 148mm square white base card; DCWV brown cardstock; Bazzill orange cardstock; Papermania Chelsea Green Capsule Collection DP; ribbon and pearls from my stash.

The little box would be perfect for putting a gift card inside, and because the Kroma Crackle is flexible, it didn't crack further when the box was put together. The photographs do not really show the metallic sheen that the gilding waxes have added to the surfaces - but believe me, it really makes a difference. It was well worth persevering with!!

Pop on over to the Crafty Cardmakers blog to check out all the great inspiration from the other DT members. Remember, you need to have TWO pieces to be considered for the prizes - a card or tag AND matching gift wrap, bag or box.

I am really looking forward to seeing what you all come up with.


Monday, 1 April 2013

CCM #88 - Humour

Our latest challenge is hosted by Suze, who has chosen the theme of Humour. It's April Fool's Day, a day for fun and trickery! Suze would therefore like to see some humour in your project. Perhaps a funny image or sentiment, or you might just want to add some googly eyes. Remember, laughter is the best medicine - so have fun! 

We are sponsored by Di's Digi Downloads who are offering a $10 gift voucher. And also by Hobby Art, who are offering two sets of their fabulous stamps - Mouse Power and Bubble Bath.  Pop over to the Crafty Cardmakers blog to see what they look like.

Having held out against buying any marker pens, I finally succumbed a few weeks ago. Not really sure why - but decided I would like to give Promarkers a try. I asked the rest of the DT for a bit of advice on a good card to use with them, and they came back with several suggestions. I have gone with Joanna Sheen's Elegance Satin 300gsm card, as I prefer a heavy weight card to play with. It has a lovely feel to it - even my husband commented on the quality of it and he's really not that interested in the weight or finish of cardstock!! 

I then needed a digi stamp to try them out with. After a lot of searching, I found the 'Margarita' digi stamp and sentiment in Whimsie Doodles Summer Fun collection. I chose this firstly because it looked like an easy image to colour in for my first attempt. And secondly because life is giving me lots of lemons at the moment, and I need to try to be more positive and see the lighter side of things. I mustn't let things get me down so much! Maybe I'll even try a Margarita - I had to look up what was in it before I coloured it, so I didn't get  it too wrong!! 

The image and the sentiment come separately  so I combined them in Publisher, before printing onto the card. I then set to and coloured in. I am sure the keen colourists amongst you will immediately notice the bleeding around the cherry. That is not the fault of the cardstock - it is mine! I oversaturated the card with the Blender pen to try to tone down the redness of the cherry - and it bled out!! I decided to continue with the card, as I felt pretty proud of how the rest had turned out!

The colours I used were: Primrose, Lemon, Cool Grey 1+2, Poppy, Orange

The base card is from Craftwork Cards (148mm square), and I scored and folded the top part to make the easel. I cut the image using a Spellbinder Grand Oval, and backed it with a light lemon coloured card (this doesn't show on the photo - obviously!!). I inked it whilst still in the die using Squeezed Lemonade DI. Once it was out of the die, I went around the edge with ink too.

The grey, bottom mat is Bazzill Bling,and the next is Ivory Centura Pearl. On the card front there is an extra, lighter lemon layer from my scrap box. The DP is from an old  Papermania pad - Ivory and Black Creative Tones. I used the light lemon card to cut another oval, and the  DP to cut a Grand Scalloped oval. These were cut up to form the basis of the mat on the card front, and the stopper on the base. The ribbon is from my stash, and the tiny pearls are from Kanban. I decided to use red ones, as well as yellow and grey, in order to pick up the colour of the cherry. The little detail on the stopper is made from the smallest dies from Spellbinders Decorative Labels 27 and Exquisite Circles.

To finish it off, I added glitter along the edge of the glass to represent the salt they put around the top of the glass!! 

Apart from the cherry, I am quite pleased about how this turned out. My husband is resigned to me now collecting the Promarkers (having only just finished with collecting the Distress Inks!!) - why is it that we need to have the whole set of something?

Anyway, I would like to enter this into the following:

Passion for ProMarkers - Bingo Board (Die Cut, Free, Glitter)
Opus Gluei - Where you haven't gone before (Promarkers)