Wednesday, 25 February 2015

DIY Embellishments - 3D Die Cut Flowers

After spending hours lately looking at Pinterest and discovering ideas, tips, tricks and tutorials and saying ohhhh and ahhhhh I thought I'd give some of them a go. The first thing I tried was to combine two techniques to make flowers that I found via Pinterest Julie's Inkspot Blog and on the Verity Cards blog.

I have an Xcut Petal Posy die that cuts 6 different sizes of petal shapes and an assortment of circular centres (not used here). So to combine the two ideas I cut 3 petal pieces out in varying sizes and folded each of the petals in towards the entre, glueing the base of the largest one and putting the next size in on top of it, then the next one until you have all your pieces in place.

The next step is to use a hot glue gun and place a large blob of glue in the centre of the flower and fill it with seed beads to form the centre of the flower. It all went pear shaped here because I couldn't find the seed bead box grrrr! So instead for the purpose of taking a photo I used larger beads from a tub on the desk, although they are too large and I don't have enough of them, you can see the effect. When I find the seed beads I can complete the project, properly and when they're done they'll look brilliant with some die cut leaf shapes (I have a die cut for leaves to) and make superb floral embellishments for decorating cards.

After not being able to find the seed beads, I decided to try another idea I saw on Pinterest, this time for making your own glitter tape over at Damask Love, the idea is sound and as you can see from the first photo it works, BUT the lady writing the blog didn't mention the fact that it would be almost impossible to use the tape. The only way I can see the technique working is to lay the tape on the card in situ, glitter it and voila! The idea is brilliant and it will save me a fortune on the Border Glitteration ribbon strips I got from Anita's. So its back to the drawing board on the DIY glitter tape, but I will crack it.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Embossing Like A Boss!

I've been a little quiet on the crafty front for a few weeks, I've been working on the book I'm writing so not had as much crafting time, but I began getting withdrawal symptoms so last weekend I got my craft on. After seeing an article in issue 140 of 'Cardmaking & Papercraft' magazine I was inspired to want to have a go at making my own 3D rose toppers, so I ordered the moulds and WOW Melt it that I needed over the weekend and went out to 'The Range' and bought a heat gun and a few embossing powders to tide me over until my new goodies arrived.

I've been embossing card with my Sizzix Big Shot and my Xcut Xpress Die Cutting machine's for a while now, examples of the sort of effects you can achieve can be seen on one of my previous posts here. I'd not done any heat embossing before, mainly because I didn't have the heat gun, plus my previous attempts at rubber stamping had gone a tad pear shaped. The results were so rubbish I abandoned the ink pads and stamps in favour of more easily obtainable results like machine embossing and die-cutting and using pre-made toppers and die cuts, whilst secretly wishing I could make use of some of the wonderful stamps that I've been getting with my craft magazine subscriptions.

Realising that I wouldn't be able to have a go at making the rose embellishments until the goodies I'd ordered had arrived, I was itching to get started, the only course of action was to beat my fear of stamping and have a go. I'd picked up an embossing clear ink pad when I bought my heat gun, so I had no excuse. I chose a small sentiment stamp from out of my stamp drawer, yes I have a drawer of stamps, some I've ought but most of them have come with craft magazines and stored because "maybe one day..." Well this weekend that one day came and I decided to emboss like a boss!

I picked the "Happy Mother's Day" stamp because it was small and looked fairly easy to work with, not because mother's day is coming up, my mum passed away 12 years ago so I don't have a reason to send MD cards any more, although I do know some people I know that have fur babies who I think would appreciate a surprise Mother's Day card ;) I inked up the stamp with the clear embossing ink, pressed on to the card, applied the embossing powder and shook off the excess, all easy so far, all the stamped bits were covered. Now to heat it... and OMG you'd have thought I'd found buried treasure of had been targeted for my skills by the Ministry of Magic!

I was amazed, the first (pink) sentiment I embossed worked perfectly, okay maybe the ink wasn't added evenly but for a first attempt it was pretty good for me :) The second attempt (lilac) wasn't so good, I slipped with stamp when I pressed to the card and it left a smeared effect. I used an xcut die cut to shape the sentiment, then as you can see in the first image, I edged it with a Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers I got for my birthday (thanks Dad!)

I embossed a piece of pink card with a floral design from the Sheena Douglas called 'Fabulous Florals' which came free with "Crafters Companion Crafter's Inspiration Issue 4 Spring Edition" and used a double sided floral and dotty paper from the A4 "All My Love" pad that I picked up cheap from Crafter's Companion in the January Sales. Finished with pink organza ribbon from my stash, which I think came from 'The Works' and a few pink stick-on jewel gems. I was thrilled with my efforts. I can't describe the thrill I got from creating that card using the first thing I ever embossed, I was certain that it was going to go wrong and was amazed when it didn't :) Yes I know its not perfect, but its perfect to me!

I'm now waiting for orders of embossing powders, fairy shaped die-cuts, toppers, distressing inks, stamps, embossing folders, coloured card, silicon moulds and an assortment of other embossing and card creating goodies to arrive for new projects I want to try. I learnt this weekend that buying stuff and not using it (something I'm guilty of in the past for fear of wasting materials or seeing a project fail), is just as wasteful as using it and it going wrong, you learn by experience, the more you do it, the better you get, so from now on I'll be embossing like a boss and using the results to make cards and tags. Watch this space!