Thursday, June 22, 2017

Smash Journal for The Woman Unleashed Retreat

I found a link to The Woman Unleashed - an online retreat on Linda's blog so I followed it and decided to participate.   The first activity is to make a smashed journal in which to record your insights as you participate in the different parts of the retreat. So this evening I decided to create my journal.  One of the most significant comments on the video was that creating this journal was more about the process - what was speaking to you - rather than creating art.  So it is about YOU - what is calling you, what do you like, how do you feel and taking the time to really connect with your inner self so you can bring about the transformation that you intend.
I remembered having a blank book years ago and went on the hunt to find it amid the boxes in my studio!!  After a few, I started praying for guidance because there are a LOT boxes in my studio and instead of finding the book I was looking for I found a stack of kraft pages that at one point had been bound but were no longer.  I took it as a sign and decided to make covers for this stack of pages.

I have LOTS of different papers in my studio and could have used any of them to cover the cardstock covers I had created but I felt called to use the paper from this flour sack instead.  It speaks to me of health and making good choices for wellness. So I cut open the bag and smashed the paper over and over again until it was nicely wrinkled and had lots of texture.  I trimmed two pieces the right size to cover my covers which I cut pretty much the same size as my pages and glued the brown paper to my bright yellow covers.  I really like the bright yellow and the cardstock is a reminder to me of the beginning of my journey into art.


I used an old gift card and glue from my little pot of glue stick leftovers to adhere my paper to my covers.  I trimming the corners and the edges to leave an even margin on the inside.
Here you can see my two finished covers and the stack of pages.  I used the stack to make holes in the covers using my awl. The covers fit really well on my stack of pages.  I decided to use elastics to bind my journal because they will allow my journal to lay flat by stretching the bit that is require for that action to take place.  I used my awl to enlarge the holes sufficiently to allow the elastics to slide right through.  I tied the short pieces using square knots on the spine.


We are encouraged to set an intention for the retreat so I decided to journal about my intention on the front of my journal.  Using a fine tipped Sharpie I started writing and just joined all of my words and sentences into multiple lines of writing until I had filled the whole cover leaving a bit of a margin all the way around.  Next, I decided that I would doodle a border in that space.  After my doodling I was still feeling inspired to journal my intention so I flipped my journal and continued to write going across the writing I had already put on the front.  That felt better and I like the wonderful texture that it gives my front cover.  
As I finished up the last of my journaling on the cover I felt I needed to refine what I intended into a short phrase.  In the end, I decided on two which when I had finished adding them to my cover worked together quite well.  I found the letters for "voice" and "prayer" in my letters stash - a little plastic container in which I put all the letters which are leftover from any of my creative projects.  Once I had them arranged the way I liked them I adhered them with white glue.  I like that they are sort of random and not perfect.  It was great that they were colourful as well.  I found my creative writing book and added the rest of the words using the fine tip Sharpie I used for journaling and a bullet tipped one I had in my stash.  It was fun to use different letter styles for each word.  The border was calling out for colour so I started with gel pens and it was not quite the look I was wanting so I dug out my watercolours and painted it in with them!!  Watercolours are my favorite!!  We were encouraged in the video to gild the edges of our pages so I did mine in purple!!



We were also encouraged to smash all of our pages - just crunch them up!!  After crunching you can see that my journal has become a little thicker!!  I am really happy with how my journal turned out but it still needs ribbon and some scent which I will add later once it is dry.  I am looking forward to the next activity on this retreat!!
I hope you will consider joining the retreat and taking the challenge to unleash what you want into your life!!  Remember you create in your life using your thoughts, your words and your actions!!  Choose wisely!!

Therese

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Christmas cards with used postage stamps and colour printed book page backgrounds



It has taken me more than week to create this set of Christmas cards!!!  The inspiration for using postage stamps came from these cards I created for my grand daughter's Guide troupe for their penpal project.  After searching on line to see what others had created with postage stamps I was inspired to combine a stenciled text background with a framed postage stamp.  
I went through my used postage stamps and culled about 50 stamps that I thought would make good focal elements for my cards.  I needed some sort of text for the backgrounds and deliberated which book I had in my stash that would be appropriate.  I remembered that I had rescued a bible from a box during our Trash to Treasure week which had been soaked by the previous evening's downpour and was now twice the size it had been previously and was straining against its binding.  I had set it over the furnace vent at home and it took several days for it to dry completely.  The pages would make perfect backgrounds of my Christmas cards - the right text size and content.  
I decided that NOEL would be the word I would use on the backgrounds for my nativity postage stamps. To simulate the stenciled background of the inspiration card I thought I might use a large stamp set to stamp on my background.  Unfortunately, the stamps were too large and I had to come up with another way to get the same look.  I decided to use my colour ink jet printer to print the words instead of stenciling them.  I used Corel Draw to layout NOEL in a font that was large enough to fill out the layer I would need for my A2 sized cards.  It took a little tweaking to get it all set up correctly.  Next, I applied some transparency to the word so I could get a more stenciled look to the letters.  I cut a few pages from the front of the bible and ironed them flat with a little steam.  That worked quite well.  Next, I colour printed two backgrounds on one page and cut them apart.  They did not seem to be quite what I remembered that the inspiration card had looked like so I went back and had a look and realized that the inspiration card the text piece was smaller than the whole background and the stenciling extended out to the next layer.  So I went back to Corel Draw and rejigged my document so I could print on a different size of paper.  I cut two pieces of text background, adhered them to white cardstock and then put them through the printer to print my NOEL onto them.  That was much better and so I created coordinating printed backgrounds for a dozen cards.  I layered the text/cardstock backgrounds I had created onto a coordinating lightweight cardstock and then used my sewing machine and coordinating thread to sew them together.  I adhered this layer to a coordinating card front.  To create my focal element I glued my postage stamp to a coordinating cardstock and adhered it to my embellished card front using 3D foam tape.
On this card I used a Mary and Joseph stamp from New Zealand!!  It is a beautiful stamp!!  I printed the NOEL in blue, layered onto purple and then onto a blue card front.  I layered the stamp onto black cardstock and mounted it to my card front with 3D foam tape.

These are the rest of the cards I created with Canadian used Christmas postage  stamps.
You can see that the card on the right has the small printed NOEL which I originally printed and realized it was smaller than I had wanted it to be.  The last one in this collection has been created with the other one small one.



























They have a bit of a different look but the concept still works.  I have set aside the rest of the postage to work on later maybe using a different word and maybe a portrait layout.
With the addition of these fourteen Christmas cards I am up to 46 for the year!  Therese


Sunday, June 18, 2017

A birdie card featuring a serendipity square, vintage seam binding and embossed background

A birdie birthday card!!  I used one of my serendipity backgrounds and die cut the bird from the TH Caged Bird (SX) die.  You can see on the top left corner that it cut the birdcage a bit but I simply put the pieces back in place and taped them on the back to the whole.  As a bonus it adds a bit of texture to the element.  I backed the bird with some over stamped brown cardstock and added the small piece just above the branch back in the proper place to define the legs.  I die cut the wing from a serendipity scrap to highlight it and glued it in place using double sided tape at the front and 3D foam tape at the back so it would have dimension.  I distressed the edges of this element and the bottom of the laser printed greeting, glued the greeting to the bottom of the square and machine stitched using brown thread all the way around to attach them and it added a bit of texture as well.  I defined the beak with a marker and added a tiny black brad for the eye. Next, I took several strips of warm blue green cardstock and made a layered background by taping them together on the back then embossing them with a TH embossing folder.  I toned down the edges by rubbing them with a vanilla stamp pad.  I layered some gold decorative paper to the front of a black card and then glued my embossed background to it.  I added a piece of vintage seam binding to the right hand side by adhering both ends to the inside of the card using double sided tape. I adhered my focal element with 3D foam tape a bit lower on the card to allow a short piece of seam binding to be tied to the one on the front with a single knot to simulate a bow.  Love how it turned out!!  It could easily be used with " a little birdie told me" greeting for a fun all occasion card!!
Therese

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hammered background for my sister's birthday card

I used one of my dandelion and radish leaves pounded backgrounds for this card for my sister's birthday. She loves sunflowers and it was as close as I could come at this time of the year!!  After the background was dry, I ironed it flat and trimmed it to 3.75" x 5". I added a length of yellow seam binding, layered it onto a coordinating green cardstock rectangle and stitched all the way around using green thread in my sewing machine.  I stamped the greeting just above the seam binding in dark green ink using my stamping jig.  I double stamped it to make sure it was dark enough to show up well.  I glued this large focal element to a bright yellow card front.  To simulate a bow I tied a short length of seam binding to the one on the front of my card using a single knot.  I love the way it turned out!!!  I will be seeing her later this week and we are headed out to do a bird photo shoot and enjoying lunch at a tea house.   One of her favorite things to do!!            Therese

Praying for you card that features flowers and pink & green theme

My favorite colour combination is pink and green!!  I downloaded the image from Pixabay, added a font greeting and laser printed it on white cardstock.  I trimmed it out leaving a small white border.  I embossed a green rectangle, adhered the image on the left and added a length of white seam binding to the right hand side.  I tied on another short piece with one knot to simulate a bow.  I glued this large focal element to the front of a pink card.

Therese

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A cute little flower card for my church project stash

I created this card for my stash of Praying for You cards for my church project.  I used the Pixabay graphic, added a font greeting and laser printed it onto white cardstock. I trimmed it out of the large sheet leaving a very small white border.  I found this embossed panel on my desk and trimmed it square to use on this card.  I glued it to a dark pink card front and then added a length of yellow seam binding before adhering the image over the white square.  I added a short length of seam binding to the length on the card by tying it in place with one knot.  Nicely simulates a bow!!

Therese

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Some more pounded flower backgrounds

I did a few more backgrounds the other day after picking my first radishes from my garden. I wanted something that would coordinate with the radish leaves and be different than the geraniums I made last time so I picked some dandelions.  They worked out really well.  It took a bit to figure out the results are better if you break up the flowers into threes before laying them down and it is really hard to get a full on circle flower because they are so thick all you get is a large circle of colour without too much detail.  The radish leaves were very juicy so it was worth having a paper towel handy!!   I did you my Big Shot again to "pound" the flowers which creates more of a problem with run off - I expect that if you used a hammer the juice would be absorbed more locally and the images might be better as well.  I will have to explore that.  It may also be possible to remove the one shim from the sandwich and accomplish the same thing.  Will let you know!!  I hope you will consider giving this technique a try - it is super easy!!  Follow the above link to find recommendations for flowers and greenery which you can use even if you don't have a garden!!  You can even find some options at the grocery store!!
Therese

Graduation card with a digital image, some fiber and rhinestone embellishments

I created this card which would be most appropriate for a person graduating from high school but is not formally a graduation card.   The graphic is from Pixabay.  I laser printed it on white cardstock and trimmed it from the large sheet.  I trimmed it leaving a white border all the way around.  I found the perfect cardstock in my stash - navy with white speckles which so easily simulates a night sky!!  I added several wraps of white fiber to add texture and give the whole sketch some movement and tied the ends on the left hand side.  I mounted the image over it using 3D foam tape and embellished the funky dots with clear rhinestones.  Still thinking it needed "something" I added a few dots in the sky with my Sakura Clear Glitter gel pen.  Perfect!!

Therese

Monday, June 12, 2017

A few more cards for my stash with digital images from Pixabay

I made a few more "Praying for You" cards for my project at church.  These both feature backgrounds from Pixabay with added font greetings.  I colour lasered the images and trimmed them out of the large sheet.  For the first one, I added a brown daisy border then layered this large element to a maroon card front.
For the second one, I layered the image onto a gray cardstock layer which I had punched with the SU eyelet border punch.  I added a line of texture using a pattern tracing wheel and a ruler.  I am liking the look of the texture provided by the tracing wheel.  This layer was then glued to a blue card front to finish off the card.

I am enjoying combining images with fonts to create focal elements for my cards!!

Therese

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Quick cards with laser printed digital images

I created this card using a digital image from Pixabay which I digitally altered so I could add my own font greeting.  I love the cute little trees with hearts on them.  Work so well for a thinking of you card!!  I laser printed the image with font greeting on white cardstock, trimmed it out of the large sheet and used my distressing tool to distress the edges.  I layered it onto an embossed layer of red cardstock and then onto a coordinating light blue card front.  Printed images make quick work of getting a few cards ready for giving.
Therese

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Praying for you cards with fun backgrounds and digital images with greetings

I am adding "Praying for You" cards to my stash for a project I am working on at church.  These both feature fun backgrounds which I created while I was preparing for this card for my class a while back. The first one features watercolour on glossy photo paper and the other is a bleached background that I watercoloured in hopes of being able to use it as a card front for one of those cards but it was too dark.  I glued the backgrounds to coordinating card front and added a length of coordinating seam binding before adding my colour printed graphics which combine digital images from Pixabay with font greetings.  I tied a short piece of seam binding to the length on the card with a single knot to simulate a bow.   Really happy with how these worked out and it was great to be able to use some backgrounds from my stash.  
Therese

Friday, June 09, 2017

"A little birdie" card with digital stamp and branch die cut

I am adding cards to my stash and am finding that little birdie ones are quite useful as they can be used for almost any occasion.  I downloaded this little guy from Pixabay, added the font greeting and laser printed it onto white cardstock. I trimmed it down leaving a white frame all the way around.  I embossed a green cardstock background and added a scalloped border in brown.  I embellished this piece with paper piercing using a push pin and foam as well as running a pattern tracing wheel next to a ruler to create a straight textured line.  I adhered the border to the embossed cardstock  using double sided tape and adhered this large element to a white card front.  Next, I added my little birdie image then embellished the lower portion with a die cut branch (TH) to which I added several tiny watercoloured leaves.   I will be on the look out for a few more birdie images I can use for making these cards.  I made these a while back with birdie sticky notes which worked out really well.       Therese

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Flower die cuts combined with handmade paper for great cards


I found these card kits sitting in my craft room when I was preparing for my last class and decided I should make them up and add them to my stash.   They have been sitting since March when I prepped them for this class.  It was fun to have the freedom to make them up a bit differently because time has passed and I did not have the original idea so clearly imprinted in my head.  I positioned the flowers differently and even made one a portrait card and used lace on it!!  No idea where the ribbon went - it was not in the envelope so I had to invent something new.  I sponged the off white lace with green ink to get it to coordinate but I like the look of it.  It was fun to see the decorative paper centers for the flowers as well.  So much has happened since then - so many other cards and projects created!!              Therese

Hammered botanicals (flowers & leaves) with a Big Shot

 I received one of my exchange cards this week and it featured a beautiful botanical print on the front!!! She mentioned inside that she had created the print by pressing the leaves through her Big Shot.  I went looking on line for some instructions and found this video tutorial  and these step by step instructions.  This morning I thought I would give a go!!  I collected leaves and flowers from the yard and moved my Big Shot to a separate table so I would have lots of room.   What fun!!!!!!!  Just a note to say that the squishing gets a bit messy with the Big Shot so I would recommend adding a layer of paper towel to the sandwich to catch the spills especially at the final end where all the liquids end up.
 So you can see that the papers I created look awesome!!  Looking forward to crafting with them once they are dry.
So you use your Big Shot with all the platforms and two plates.  I put both of the plates on top with my botanical sandwich in between.  You can see here some of the botanicals I used.  You end up with two prints because you put a piece of white cardstock on the bottom, add your flowers and/or leaves and then lay another over top to create your botanicals sandwich.  It works best with fleshy flowers and leaves but they are also the ones that create the most liquid so be prepared with paper towel.
The first one you see there is one large chives head which has been dismantled and distributed over the half sheet of white cardstock.  I split the stem and cut it into pieces and laid them randomly among the florets.  This works very well!!  They are both juicy enough to give a good print.
Next, I used geranium flowers.  These were dead headed off the plant two days ago and were sitting on  a tray drying so I can use the petals in handmade paper.  I used willow leaves with them.  The willow leaves are not fleshy enough but the geraniums are very juicy so together they gave a decent print though there was not very much green in it.

 For the third one, I used geranium buds, mint leaves and a few leaves off my potato plant.  This worked very well though the mint leaves were not a juicy as I originally thought they would be the potato ones were perfect!!!  There a few potentilla leaves as well and they are not really juicy enough either.
For the fourth one, I used geranium leaves and radish leaves.  This combination worked very well and made a very good print.  
Forgot to take a photo of my last print which I made use coleus leaves.  That was perfect too!!

This is so totally fun!!  You don't need a Big Shot - a plain old hammer will do the job perfectly and give you a bit of exercise to boot!!  A little less mess with the hammer because the juices are not being pushed around.  So think slightly fleshy leaves and flowers for this technique.
If you don't have a garden or flower beds or pots consider that you can probably get some at the grocery store - radishes or carrots with the leaves on, any of the herbs, kale, spinach or lettuce might work, thin slices of onion, beets or carrots might work.
On the other hand, any empty lot in town might have a good selection of options - dandelions with leaves, thistles and maybe even grasses might give good results.  Considering checking out the local flower beds for any plants that need dead heading - marigolds, impatiens, petunias, pansies, etc.  Or ask your friends if they can spare a few from their planters or gardens.  One bonus
I ended up washing up my plates and platforms to ensure that the juices I produced with them this morning have all been removed and will not affect my paper die cutting later.
If you give this a try please leave me a message and link to where you have posted the fun papers you have created!!!

Therese

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Christmas card with a giftie tag

I made this one from a kit from last week's class. You can check out the others here.
I laser printed the image of the three gifts (WPclipart) on white card stock and die cut them with a Sizzix tag die. I squared off the top and watercoloured the image in bright colours. I inserted the short length of red seam binding through the hole and secured it with double sided tape.  I trimmed the laser printed greeting with decorative scissors, colour washed one edge and adhered it to the left hand side of the tag.  I trimmed a strip of green cardstock along both long edges with decorative scissors and embellished it with paper piercing using a push pin and a pattern tracing wheel before adhering it to my decorative paper background.  I adhered this large element to a green card and finished off my card by adding the embellished tag with 3D foam tape.
I am behind on my goal of monthly Christmas cards for this year but this is one more to add to the stash.  NOTE:  Just checked and this one makes 32 cards!!         Therese

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Combining handmade paper, a die cut envelope and a tag to make a card

This card features a die cut envelope which I cut from heavy weight paper which holds a tag with a ribbon.  This was may sample for a past class and when the time came to get the kits ready I decided that the card would take longer to assemble than I had time for so it was scrapped and I went with a different design.  I found the supplies recently when preparing these kits for my recent card making class and you can see that they worked very well for that class.
For this card, I layered a piece of 4" x 5.25" handmade paper onto a coordinating dark purple card front.  I folded the die cut envelope and glued it together before chalking the edges to coordinate with the hand made paper.  I watercoloured the image (floral bird house - Anne's cards) on the tag and chalked the edges to coordinate with the envelope. I added a ribbon and used double sided tape to secure it in place.  I inserted the tag in the envelope and glued this element to my card front.  I added a layered punchie greeting to the top right hand corner to finish off my card.
I will add it to my card stash.           Therese

Friday, June 02, 2017

Cardmaking - May - Used postage stamps as backgrounds and focal elements


I decided to use a resource I had previously created for a Pen Pal Girl Guide project for my grand daughter.  You can see the details here.  My daughter recently returned to me the remaining supplies from this project so I went about seeing how I could use them for a card for this evening.  It seems appropriate to feature Canadian postage on cards this year considering that in less than a month we will be celebrating our 150th anniversary as a country.  I trimmed the front off my sample card and it so very nicely was just the right size to layer evenly on an A2 card!!  I simply added a green layer to it and then glued this large element to a black card front.  So I combined the postage backgrounds with appropriate postage stamp focal elements along with a coordinating decorative paper background and black card fronts.  They look pretty cool!!  I did provide layered punchie greetings but most people chose to leave the cards without greetings.  It does allow this card to be used for any occasion!! Those little postage stamps are such great little works of art!!

If you are inspired to create cards with used postage stamps please leave me a link in the comments section so I can go check them out!!!

Therese

Cardmaking - May - Glossy photo paper watercolour backgrounds combined with colour inkjet printed digital images

















We recently acquired an inkjet printer after being without for a number of years so I wanted to see what I could do with this new tool for this month's cardmaking class.  
I chose to make some dye ink backgrounds using glossy photo paper using this common technique - apply colour to non stick mat, spritz with water and lay the photo paper glossy side down and twist a little.  It worked very well and I ended up using old dried water based markers for the blue/green and green/purple ones.  I used empty inkjet ink cartridges for the yellow and pink ones.  You can check out a tutorial at Crafting a Green World. that explains how to use dried out markers to make watercolour ink.  The sponges in the ink cartridges worked pretty much the same way.  You can check what I did with them in this blog post.  Once all the backgrounds were dry I used my new printer to print digital stamps on them (candles and cupcake - Melonheadz). I used Corel Draw to layout three different images for each 4" x 6" background and printed the images in black onto the colourful backgrounds though I could have converted my images and printed them in colour instead.  It was easy to highlight some of the details in the images with watercolour by simply applying it with a small paint brush.  I expect I could have added any colour of watercolour that I wanted to but I applied those I had used in the backgrounds. So there remains quite a few options I would like to explore with this technique.  I cut the images apart and set out to create greeting layers.   I chose light coloured coordinating cardstock and designed a layer that was 2.75" x 4.25" and added a greeting on the right hand side the colour laser printed them.  The landscape images created landscape cards with the greeting below the image.  For portrait images, it created portrait cards with a greeting running up the side.  Next, I needed card fronts!!  I chose to use rubber stamps and ink to embellish my card fronts.  That was less successful in that I had difficulty getting non muddy prints from stamps that have been used and stained with dark colours in the past when I applied light coloured inks.  So I have a pile of discards which will have to be repurposed!!  I did finally get all the card fronts ready to go.  I will consider colour inkjet printing my card fronts next time though I will have to acquire a few more vector digital background stamps that can be changed to different colours before I can do that.  It will be a process.  The card making process was fast and easy!  Glue the image to the greeting layer and then glue this large element to the card front!!  



These two cards were created while I was preparing kits for this class.  
For the yellow one, I ended up trimming the overall stamped background to allow an even margin and gluing the whole layer to a dark blue card front.  This worked very well too!!  
For the butterfly card, I used bleach for the background and then realized that it would not work well for the other cards being as they were too light for the bleaching to show up well.  I am very happy with the results of this experiment and I look forward to exploring the other options available to me in his process at a later date.  

Therese