Thank you for clicking over to have a look at my blog.
A Bit Of An Update, Some More Musings, A Few Cards And Some Jewellery
If you don’t want to read all my babblings – then just jump ahead to the card photos and click on the thumbnail images for a good look.
Well Jack and Jill, the scare faces head, is still up, turning wildely in the wind and looking as if they could do with a visit to the hairdressers – and the good news is that they appear to be keeping the birds away from our loganberries.
The bad news is that the little wasps have found the loganberries and there are dozens feasting on the most ripe ones in the morning when I go out – So we’ve put a wasp trap out, though to be honest, with all the ripening loganberries I don’t think the wasps will be heading for the jam in the trap. If it’s not one thing it’s the other with the garden.
I don’t know why it decides to rain as soon as I reach the glasshouse to water the plants, but it has these last few days. So I get a soaking on the way back to the house. Then a few minutes later the rain stops and the sun comes out. The one good thing about the fact that it’s been raining off and on the last few days is the fact that not everything I’ve got growing in tubs, pots and raised beds, etc., needs watering twice a day any more – so I’ve been able to use a bit of my energy I’m saving to do a small bit more crafting. I’ve not done anything that requires a lot of work, just some cards and a set of jewellery, but I hope you like what I’ve made.
As it was three years since I put my first three blog posts live on the 27th July, I’ve been having a big of a look back at some of the crafting I’ve done during those three years. I’ve been especially interested in all the different styles of toppers, card shapes, and types of images I’ve been using in that period.
Iris folding, teabag folding, stepper cards, pyramage, easel cards, decoupage, book cards, chevrons, pop-outs, diamond top, gatefold, theatre fold, side stackers, twisted pyramage, tri-fold, shattered pyramid, cutting files, panel cards, corner stacker cards, teardrop front cards, die cuts, foldback cards, small A6 cards to large A4 cards, the list goes on and on and on.
One thing I have noticed I’m doing more of lately, that I hardely ever did in the begining, is colouring in digi-stamps, or any stamps come to that. It’s not that I didn’t have stamps or digi-stamps three years ago, it’s just that until I found ProMarkers I didn’t like the results I was getting colouring in with markers, and getting paints out to just do a single small image was a chore I didn’t want usually.
Of course my skills have improved over time, and I’ve adapted and learned what I find I’m able to do and what is impossible or more trouble than it is worth, but I still go back to the same toppers I used at the begining and print them off to make new cards. Although I rarely make the same card twice, and there are small changes – perhaps in cardstock finish, or size of card I’ve used them on, I do like making the quick and easy cards as much as I do the more ornate cards. I even sometimes design a layout digitally (where the elements I’ve bought digitally allow for this in the TOU) and then simply print off the card front for matting and layering onto a card.
I’ve never been a “handmade card snob” and think that everything has to be hand made from start to finish, and neither do I think that if you do have a design sheet for a card front that, once printed out, the sheet has to be used exactly as is every time. Sometimes making a handmade card is as simple as choosing some cardstock, scoreing and folding in half, and then attaching a simple topper of some sort, keeping the card clean and simple (CAS), and sometimes making a handmade creation is about creating dozens of elements by hand and building everything up to a stunning keepsake.
I like variety in my card making. There are so many different style of cards to be made, so many different types of embelishments, so many different types of techniques to be tried, that it’s impossible to be bored when card making. And then toss in other types of crafting, some of which can be amalgamated with cardmaking – such as using gems or jewellery as embelishments on cards, or integrating a card into a box to present jewellery in, and a whole new arm of crafting opens up.
(Clicking on the text links below each set of images takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards.)
I’ve kept things very simple for these four cards – no gems, no glitter, no hand made flowers, no peel-offs, not even any greetings (those will be added, if needed, once I know what language they are needed in), just some quick and easy cards.
- Square ‘Gold Metallic Frame’ Card Front or insert by Carol Clarke (I printed the sheet out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock. I then cut it out, scored it, and folded it in half to make my base card. I cut out a simple topper from a sheet of foiled dog images that I had in my crafting stash – I think it may have come from a Kanban kit of dog images – and shaped it before attaching to the front using glue gel. I didn’t cut the dog out particularly close to the lines, in fact it didn’t have a solid outline around, so this was quite easy. So, a quick and easy card to make.)
- I was trying to get an angle on the photo in such a way that it showed that all the lines on the dog image were foiled gold, but just landed up with some shine in some areas, but I hope you get the idea.
- Nellie Elephant Stamp by Janette Padley and DL ‘Silver Metallic Frame’ Card Front or insert by Carol Clarke (I printed this digi-stamp out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock at much smaller than the size provided. I then coloured the little elephant in using my ProMarkers. The colours I used were: Cool Grey 1, 2. 5, and Oatmeal. I also printed the card front out onto the same coloured cardstock, trimmed it, scored it and folded it in half to make my base card. I cut around little Nellie, which wasn’t particularly difficult due to the rounded curves and no ins and outs, and used a pokey tool to put a hole in her trunk. Through this hole I threaded a piece of green jute twine so that it appeared as if Nellie is holding it in her trunk. I shaped the coloured in digi-stamp and then attached it to my card front using glue gel. I took a yellow paper flower from my crafting stash and stuck it to the card front as an embelishment on the other end of the jute twine so that it looks as if the flower is being presented by the elephant. This is a really cute image that can be used simply, as on this card, but could also be made into a fun card, say for a child, having Nellie holding a bunch of baloons perhaps.)
- DL Fancy Bow Card Front or Insert by Carol Clarke (I printed the sheet out onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock. I then trimmed it, scored it and folded it in half. As decoration this time I’ve used an assortment of different colour and shapes of paper flowers from my crafting stash. These were attached at random using glue gel. So this card only had a bit of straight edge cutting for the main card therefore nothing difficult to cut on this card and it was quick and easy to make.)
- There’s A Storm Coming by Susan Heanes (I printed the sheet out onto Glossy Crafty Bob paper. I’m in need of some cards with minimal layering for a family member who doesn’t like much layering at all, so only cut out the base layer and one of the layers to decoupage. The fact that there were landlocked areas that were a fiddle to cut on the layers was also a deciding factor for me only cutting out one layer. Not the easiest to cut out at all. I scored and folded in half an A4 sheet of hammered white cardstock. I went around the edge of the main panel with a blue metalic marker before using a roller glue pen to attach this to the card front. I then shaped the layer I’d cut out slightly before attaching it to the card using glue gel.)
I’ve made a set of jewellery and other beaded pieces all themed around the same combination of silver plated beads, roundells and purple pearl beads threaded onto head or eye pins, and this is what they look like all together.
- Starting with a 5mm Silver Plated bead, small roundell, medium roundelle, purple pearl bead, medium roundelle, small roundell, silver plated bead.
- This is the bracelet with one of the bead combinations in-line and one as a dangler charm by the lobster claw clasp.
- This is the necklace with three of the bead combinations placed in-line with a short bit of the chain in between.
- The earings with the bead combination dangling from silver plated earring findings.
- This is a broch with three of the bead comginations linked to each other with the central one attached to the broach back (I’ve tried to turn it here so that the back is visible, but the bead is wider than the back so covers it when attached to a garment.)
- One of the bead combinations attached to a hair clip.
- One of the bead combinations attached to the end of a chain on a keyring.
- One of the bead combinations attached to a phone charm.
MAKING THINGS EASIER!
Over the years I’ve found that I get better results with my hand crafted end products, as well as being able to craft easier, if I use different glues and sticky stuffs for different things. Like many, I’m sure, I went for the cheapest options and whatever I found for sale locally on special offer originally, but I soon found that many were not suitable for the job and didn’t give a long lasting fix, and some I found hard to work with at times because of my fluctuating dexterity issues. After years of trial and error I’ve found a core set of items that work well for me, so I now watch online for those to come on special offer and stock up. Although I do occasionally try out other stuff just to see if it’s of a similar quality or better. I’m more about quality and ease of use these days, not just the cheapest price.
I’ve found that if I’m just sticking a lightweight topper directly to something that roller tape pens such as these – here – work very well without the chance of mess like wet glue and without the fiddle of getting backing off like double sided tape. I have tried out a lot of brands of roller tape pens, but had a lot of problems with the tape twisting in the case, not distributing evenly, etc., with a lot of the brands, so, although I will try other tape pens occasionally, and have had reasonable success with some of them, I find myself coming back to the same ones I’m happy with time and time again.
If I’m wanting to stick something heavier directly to a card front, or know I’ll be adding further layers that will add weight on top, then I do go for double sided tape. But these days I always go for one of the finger-lift tapes – here or here. With the lip of backing that doesn’t have any glue on it’s far easier to lift the backing off for somebody who has problems with their fingers, so makes the job quicker and less frustrating – at least it does for me.
For sticking realy heavyweight stuff together, especially for boxes or putting in acetate into apertures, or cards where there will be more movement and handling than the simple side opening cards, I go for the red backed ultra tacky tape such as these – here and here. This isn’t fingerlift, and needs cutting with a scissors (see my “Making Things Easier” section in my post – here – to see what scissors I use for cutting sticky stuff now), but the use of a pokey tool under the edge quickly lifts enough of the backing to get hold of because it is thicker and tougher than the backing on other double sided tapes.
And in case you are wondering what I mean by a “pokey tool” – it is this one here – Tim Holtz Tonic Retractable Craft Pick. It may be a bit of a fiddle remembering to retract the point, and sometimes I don’t when doing a lot of work in succession, but having a tool that retracts like this is an excellent safety feature for a person like me who’s been known to drop sharp things and get them in my legs. This is one of the tools I’ve got in my “use it every time I craft” tote.
More on what I’ve got in my “use it every time I craft” tote next time I think!
(While some of the things I mention in my “Making Things Easier!” pieces are things I’ve worked out for myself, some are adaptations of things I’ve learnt from tips given by others. As others have been kind enough to share their tips I thought I’d do the same. I’m sure that most of my readers will already know much of what I’ve found makes things easier for me but if it helps one person at some point I’ll be happy.)
Have a look – here – at all the items I’ve currently got for sale on my shop “Siop Crafftau MAES MIERI Crafts Shop” on craftybob.com.
Special Offer – If you spend just £10 you will get FREE Downloads and you can buy a pack of Crafty Bob paper for just 1p!
CUP Mailer – Here are the links to the mailers sent out by the team at CUP HQ since my last blog post:
- Wednesday, 31st July – Here! – 20% Discount Code JULY Ends Today – Penny Paper Pack & CUP News
- Friday, 2nd August – Here! – Free CD Vo 57 – Latest HOT HOT HOT Designs & 12 New Froms
Craftsuprint have a “Mailer Archive” where you can go to get links to mailers sent out over the last few months. This can be seen by clicking – here.
You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.
You can see the cards I’ve made using design sheets from CUP in my “Crafter Showcase Area” on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)
(Thank you for reading this far. I hope you like what you’ve seen and read – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it, but due to the fact that, like many I’m sure, I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.)
(Thank you to every body who’s left comments on my previous blog posts. I really do appreciate them all.)