Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Woo Hoo - I beat my crafter's block!!!

Hello crafty peeps - welcome to my crafty nook! For the last few weeks I've been trying to finish the card component of the National Papercrafter of the Year Competition. I tackled the project first assuming that it would be the element I'd struggle with most as I'm a cardmaker and scrapbooker (an infrequent one at that!) rather than someone who makes lots of mini books and home decor items. For some reason I had no trouble with the project but really struggled to come up with card ideas that weren't baby related. I had the dreaded crafter's block!  Maybe because the closing date is Friday but something clicked yesterday and I've been up all night putting the finishing touches to the two cards I'm submitting to the competition. Of course as they are wont to do when I'm up against the clock, lots of things have gone wrong with the cards which is why I pulled an all nighter - the most annoying was deciding Tea Dye distress ink would look better inside the card if I did second generation stamping only to not have enough ink left on the stamp to give a complete image - argh!

Coffee & Cream themed card using Katy Sue Designs Simpler Times Coffee Time stamp set 
This first card is a lot more embellished then I'd normally make and I may have gone a bit overboard with the paper and silk flowers. I've also used paper doilies something I've avoided up to now as they always look a bit daft on my cards like they don't belong there. However I really wanted to have a brown and cream colour scheme for this card and the doilies were a way to introduce the cream part in a decorative manner. I coloured the main stamped image using shades of brown Pro-Markers (the skin was done in putty and tan), the parts of the image that appear red were coloured in using terracotta pro-marker. Once the image was coloured I cut round it using a circle template, I had hoped to use a Sizzix circle die but it wasn't quite large enough. I looked through my flowers and picked out ones that I could colour using Pro-Markers and ended up with a mixture of silk and paper flowers. The silk flowers were extremely easy to colour - the paper ones took more effort but I like the way they turned out. I cut a sheet of 8" x 8" paper down to 7" x 7" and blended some walnut stain distress ink round the edges. I wanted to introduce cream into the design using a doily but all the ones I had were either far too small or just a bit too big, so I decided to use four small ones behind my main image, I stuck them down on the backing paper using Anita's Sticky PVA Glue. I added the main image to the centre of the doilies then arranged the cream and brown flowers round it. I used a hot glue gun to stick the flowers down once I had them how I wanted them. I had loads of glue strings from the glue gun and one of them landed on the backing paper, when I tried to peel it off it took the top layer of the design off so I found some brown ribbon and added a strip across the rip and made a bow out of a second length. Both were stuck down using red liner tape. I felt the design looked unbalanced at this point so I added some more brown ribbon at the opposite bottom corner, unfortunately I didn't use a long enough piece and you could see the frayed edge so I layered a lighter shade of brown ribbon on top and added some flat backed clear gems to the top ribbon. I added loads of red liner tape to the back of the panel and stuck it down on an 8" x 8" scallop edged card blank. I then messed up the stamping (see above!) and ended up cutting the front of the card off and adding it to a panel of kraft card cut to 8" x 9" and scored at 1" in to make a hinge to stick the front panel onto. I stamped the image inside using tea dye distress ink and added a "Warm Wishes" sentiment from the stamp set.

Tatty Button Rainy Days side gatefold card
This second card is probably my favourite and uses Creative Expressions Tatty Button stamps and lots of clear embossing. I stamped the image onto the card blank and made a mask for the image using Post It notes. I coloured the sky using distress inks and splashed droplets of water on it to make rain. The image and grass were then coloured in using Pro-Markers. Once completed I clear embossed the brolly, water drops and the puddles using an embossing pen and clear powder. The black background was stamped using a chevron design stamp and black holographic embossing powder. I cut a chevron patterned piece of paper to the required size and smeared embossing ink all over it and then embossed it using the clear embossing powder and a heat tool. I love the way this panel looks as it's like plastic. I mounted this onto black card and then added a threaded red button. I scored a piece of cardstock into the two panels and threaded some waxed black cord through the widest side. I covered this up with the stamp image raised slightly using black foam tape.I adhered the smaller panel on the right hand side using red liner tape. I tied the waxed cord round the button to make a closure.

Inside panel stamped with Tatty Button stamp and Kaisercrafts Stamp

I stamped the sentiment out onto white card using Versamark ink and sprinkled various embossing powders over the words allowing some of them to mix. I then heat set the powders before mounting the panel onto black cardstock. I stuck this to the right hand side of the inside section of the card then stamped the umberella image on the left hand side using Memento London Fog ink.

It's taken me almost as long to write this blog as it did to make the cards! lol.

I'll be taking my complete entry into the post office today so I hope you'll all keep your fingers (and toes!) crossed for me.

That's all my crafty news and share. If you have any questions please leave a comment below and until next time - keep crafting!

Love and crafty hugs,

Sarah xxx

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Sarah xxx