Saturday, 15 August 2009

Near The Christmas Tree

We are always being asked for inspiration, so to do just that, Jennifer has used one set of stamps (for the amazing price of £6.50)! and we are showing you how to make 4 different cards and this is just a start!
It is so nice to have a set of stamps that has both a boy and a girl and lots of useful bits and pieces. If you look back on the blog you will see that Heather has used the little girl on a card to hold up a flower, she cut off the presents and put a flower in her hand instead - clever!! A great example of how to use your stamps in other ways. The little boy could be used for Birthdays, Good Luck and Congratulations - so even better value for money.

The backgrounds are created using the Standard Rollagraphs, Snowflakes and Toys, Glitz Roller, Stars, The Kars Border Stamp Holly, again another brilliant price of just £3.00, Kaleidocolor or Vivid Dye Ink Pads, Staz-On Ink Pads in Black, Olive Green, Cactus Green, Mica powders mixed with water to colour in, Gold and Detail White Embossing Powder and Cut n Dry Foam for sponging on ink onto backgrounds. All these products are available on the Web Site. This little square card is so sweet and pretty and to cut out the square apertures you could use a square punch, measure and cut out using a craft knife, use a die cut machine like Sissix or just buy some aperture cards, ready cut out for your use! To colour in use either the Mica Powders or the Mica Pearly Paint Palette. To mix up the mica powders, take a little from the pot onto a small dry paint brush, mix on a paint palette or onto an acrylic block or plate with a tiny amount of water, make sure it isn't lumpy and paint away.
This card uses the same set of stamps and the same little girl image. The Toys Standard Roller is inked up on a Black Staz-on Ink Pad, if you haven't got staz-on use any permanent black ink pad like Memories. The Stars are created using the little Roller Doodles Glitz Rollers which are really sweet, ink up on the Cactus Green Staz-On and roll out onto the card The background papers are from Basic Grey but you could use any backing paper you have in your stash. The little present images are also Stamps in the set and here you need to stamp twice onto 2 Post-It notes to create two masks. Cut really accurately around the images and make sure you have the sticky bit at the top of the images. Stamp one of the images on the white circle of card. Place your post-it mask over it and stamp another present image over it, stick the other mask over that and then stamp a third image. Colour them in using Mica Powders or water colour pencils. Play around with the stamps and masks first on a spare piece of paper, so that you are happy with the finished result. Masking is a brilliant technique that you can use in lots of different ways.
This card is a bit different and uses the Cut N Dry Foam to sponge the background colours onto the card. It would be a brilliant Christmas card for any male in your life as it is bright and cheeky. We use Dye based inks like Kaleidocolor or Vivid as they dry straight away. You could use pigment inks such as Brilliance but make sure you either leave them to dry or dry them off with a heat gun. As you are using White Embossing Powder to highlight the vertically stamped Kars Holly Border stamp the background inks must be completely dry or the embossing powder will stick to the background as well as the stamped image. This is why we use Dry based Inks for sponging. You also get intense colour from dye based inks, pigment inks tend to be softer. So, sponge on the colour first and then stamp and emboss over the top, doing it the other way around will cover up the stamped Holly images - obviously but try and lets face it we have all done that kind of thing when we aren't really concentrating!! Jennifer has used slots to thread the red ribbon through and coil up, so that the little boy is standing on it on the right. To achieve this either cut slots out with a ribbon punch, measure and cut with a craft knife or use a die cut machine like the Cricket and use the Slot Button. Thread the red ribbon down through one slot and back up the other. Roll each end to the centre and glue in place. This is a great technique to learn as it can be used to great effect on all sort of cards. I have seen it used really effectively on Wedding and Anniversary cards, using Organza and silk ribbon. It gives a card dimension and focal points. Obviously the little boy is stamped on separate white card, coloured in and cut out.
Here using the same image, the Standard Rollers Snowflakes and Toys and the same sponging background technique with the Cut n Dry Foam and Dye based inks but in a different colourway.
Have a closer look at the Ollyfant stamps as they are amazing value and as you can see even stamps that are themed, such as Christmas can be used for other occasions.
Has your weather brightened up yet? There is supposed to by a North - South divide in the weather but it is gloomy, damp and ever so dull in Dorset but it hasn't stopped the A303 being chocker block with cars, caravans and hundreds and hundreds of people heading for Devon and Cornwall for their 'Staycations' - does anyone know who invents these new words - this one (so I am told), is the new name for anyone who is staying at home (or in the UK) for a holiday.
We have decided that a bit of late summer planting is the order of the day and we have plummped for some gorgeous white hydrangers in pots for the outside of the Garden Studio. On Barney's evening walk we pass an amazing high tech eco-house and the garden is a picture. They have used a green and white theme and used huge white hydrangers everywhere, it is truly breathtaking, so as with most good ideas, we aren't being original but at least we can have our own bit of classic beauty.
Do some crafting to cheer up your gloomy day and enjoy what's left of a disappointing summer. At least we crafters have Christmas to look forward to and an Autumn of inspiration and Imagination - we'll do our best. See you at the Shows, please stop by and say Hello. Heather is going to be on top form and showing you some new techniques with the Rollers on Metal and demonstrating her new stamps. Michelle will be with us at the NEC showing you her new Snow Crystal Tree and introducing Angelica (what a cutie she is)! The new stamps should be here in 2 weeks - WE HOPE!! and we are expecting a very, very exciting delivery from Belgium - secrets soon to be revealed - watch this space. Oh! and don't forget the current offers and the bargin basement.

Monday, 10 August 2009

This Ollyfant Snowman stamp set is so sweet and the little 'extras' make it versatile for other occasions as well. I love the Standard Snowflake Roller around the edge for the frame and this shows how easy it is to roll around corners and use the rollers in different ways. For the snow take a piece of vellum or parchment put it onto a mouse mat or if you have one use an embossing mat and with a smallish stylus (or a dead ball point pen), put dots of snow onto the vellum and then just turn it over so that it looks like snow falling - so easy!! Colour in with Inkadinks or Marvy Le Plumes or whatever you fancy! The card speaks for itself, easy, fun and really pretty, anyone would be delighted to receive this card -have a go.

I wanted to call this card 'Moonlight becomes You', as I think it is such a cute card - with a difference, which is what we all want sometimes!
Masking is a brilliant technique and can be used in so many different ways. Here, Jennifer has used the Ollyfant set called 'Playing with the Cat' and she has used the seat and the little girl and created a sweet little romantic card of a moonlight scene which is so different and unusual. To create the moonlight, she has punched out a 1" circle from a post-it note and stuck it onto the glossy card. She has then used a brayer and rolled it onto Kaleidocolor Dye Ink and rolled the ink onto the glossy card, over the post it moon, to create the background. She has stamped the bench and topiary tree from the set using black staz-on ink directly onto the background and the little girl is also stamped in black staz-on. Cut out the little girl and pop her on the bench with double sided sticky pads. Highlight the tree and bench with a white gel pen. The embellishments are stamped using White Staz-On onto black shrink plastic, the border is created using the standard roller, Designer 12 pattern and you could use any little leaf, branch or even Flutterby to stamp the pattern across the top of the card. A You could change the colours of this card to suit your own occasion but it is pretty straight forward and easy to achieve. You could make is the sun instead of the moon and do a daylight version. Jennifer can always be relied upon to come up with something a bit different and she hasn't disappointed here. Take the idea and fiddle with it to create your own little moonlight masterpiece. We will be showing you 8 or 9 other ideas with the Standard Rollers and the Ollyfant stamp sets over the next few days and don't forget the Stamp sets are such fantastic value and you get 5 or 6 in the set and this particular set has the Bench which is so useful and can be used with so many of your other stamps. We will also be showing you how to frame your projects with some of the standard christmas rollers, so keep watching for more fun tomorrow!