Thursday, 30 July 2015

Flights of Fantasy CD-Rom

My wonderful hubby treated me to the new 'Flights of Fantasy' CD Rom from Crafters Companion last month, I fell in love with the images when I saw them on the CC blog and made the need it face and my man got it :) I think he's happy to do things like that because of how much card making has helped me the past 8 months, my stress and anxiety are all but gone, and if I do get a bad bout of the colly wobbles as we've christened them, a few hours crafting and I'm a lot less stressed.

I've already printed off lots of fairies, nymphs and dragons to turn into cards. I love fantasy images, I think its because science fiction and fantasy is one of my favourite genres. As well as the two cards above, I've created a mermaid card. The background is another hand dyed panel using distress inks, the bottom chevron effect added to make pseudo waves was done by just spraying a chevron stamp with water and pressing on to the dried ink panel.

The water removed the ink leaving the wave like image behind. The 'seaweed' pieces are die cut from another piece of hand dyed paper using a fern die cut from the X-Cut A5 Leaves die set. The mermaid topper was attached to a fluted oval cut from metallic blue foil card. A few 'water drops' were added with aqua blue gem stones and the seaweed was given a dusting of crystal glamour dust.

The other card was made for a challenge over on the Docrafts website, the challenge was the Enchanted Challenge and the idea was to create a card with an enchanted image that conjured up 'Summer'. My creation I called 'Summer Sky Dreamer'. I love the way this one turned out, I used one of the Wild Rose Studio dies for the corner image decoration that I got free when I subscribed to Papercraft Inspirations magazine. The sentiment was free with Quick Cards issue 142 and just seemed to finish off the card perfectly. The crochet lace on the edge of the card was coloured with a promarker pen, I've seen youtube videos showing people colouring ribbons, lace and gems with promarkers, and as I had no blue lace or ribbon that suited the project I created my own using a piece of crochet lace I got free with the Docrafts Creativity magazine a few months ago. So many more images to play with in the future and new techniques to experiment with as well :)

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Delights of Distress Inks

I know its been a while again ::sigh::, I may have been quiet on the blogging front, but I've most definitely still been crafting and collecting new card making stash as well as experimenting with new techniques and making my own products like texture embossing paste and shimmer mists, but the best fun I've had by far is my new found love of distress inks.

Over the past few months I've discovered new uses for distress inks and have found a joy inside for creating very colourful blocks of paper that can be turned in to cards either of backing papers or die cut into shapes. It all started with adding some ink to the edges of toppers and sentiments back in March, then I started to add the ink directly to embossed cards either by rubbing the pads along the raised embossed area, or by using the distress inking tool. The effect was pretty but I hadn't at that point discovered that the effect would be even better if water was added to the ink.

Keeping to neat distress ink for a time I'd seen some people using distressing tools and some even used the edges of scissors to created shredded edges to backing papers and card edges to create a distressed look. So I bought myself a distress tool and quickly discovered how much fun could be had distressing edges to give a totally different look to the cards I created.

It's incredible to think that something so simple could have such a different effect on the cards I make and with so many colours of distress ink available you can use them with any colour scheme. I currently have 24 large distress ink pads and 12 mini pads which allow me to create a lot of different effects.

I then progressed to using distress inks to create textures like the wood-grain effect below, I inked up a wood effect embossing folder with walnut stain distress ink and embossed to give the dark lines and then I applied vintage photo over the top and using the walnut stain to darken the edges of the pieces. The effect is pretty good if I do say so myself, using this technique has awoken a creative side that wants to experiment more with natural images and textures. Leaves and wood seem to be the latest area of exploration and flowers are also being created. I already have a ton of ideas with wood effect and leaf effect textures in a few different colour ways and can't wait to get started.

My next area of distress ink exploration changed my game plan as far as future card making is concerned. Creating coloured backgrounds using distress inks and water using water colour paper gives you some of the most vibrantly coloured images I've seen. I admit its messy, my fingers and nails have been every shade of the rainbow over the past few weeks but the results are amazing.

The type of paper you use gives different results, the best effects are with water colour card, and I've recently used water colour paper from a Crimson & Black 230gsm watercolour pad from 'The Works' that cost me £3 for 18 sheets that can be cut down to make 36. I've also used 250gsm white card and that gives a less textured look but takes a lot longer for the card to dry than water colour, but in my opinion water colour card/paper gives the best results the ink sinks and raises with the watercolour card texture, naturally creating the stippled effect texture you can see in the dark blue starry background.
Sunset Fairy
Moonlight Fairy
I've used the technique to colour pieces of card in several shades of one colour and then die cut out shapes, like the Christmas trees above and the ivy leaves in the main picture. It's also been used to create backgrounds for cards that have then been stamped with a silhouette stamp and had die cuts added to them like the two fairy cards shown here. Yesterday evening I created a series of backgrounds in Christmas colours for use in several new card projects, I've made some more purple and orange backgrounds for making into notelet and thank you cards as well. I love the fact that I can generate my own colour backgrounds, and yes I love the messy aspect, but in the end even though I try to control the process, the water, ink and paper work on an almost magical level, you can guide them, but ultimately they will control the finished result.

I'll do a step by step article to creating a distressed background soon, its really very simple and effective.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Antique Elegance Cameo Card

I got the folder used in the card above free with issue 146 of Cardmaking & Papercraft, I loved the design so much. I even recycled the packing the freebie came in, the turquoise blue card is  the backing card which I embossed, then lightly went over the raised design with Black Soot Distress Ink, once that had dried I used Cosmic Shimmer Metallic Gilding Wax in shade Golden Light.

The embossing folder also came with a border embossing folder and a cameo stamp, I used more of the packaging card and made the centre strip using the border and the same distressing technique as the main panel.

I cut an oval in black card with a Tonic Studios die and using clear embossing ink, stamped the cameo image in metallic gold embossing powder. I cut a fluted oval in gold card and glued the two pieces together to make the cameo topper. The main panel was matted on to the same black card and stuck to a 5" x 7" white card blank.

The sentiment was stamped in the same metallic gold powder and the gold corners were die cut using the smaller dies in the Die'sire Decorative Corner 1 Die Set, the effect finished the card off nicely.