Botanical Bliss Tags

Still no real improvement in my arm this week so, yet again, no crafting but here’s a little project I did a few weeks ago. 

Romantic themes aren’t usually my crafting style but I seem to have inadvertently gone all romantic with these tags this week! The Botanical Bliss tags dies consist of 3 tag toppers, 2 edge cutters and a leafy branch.  There’s also a coordinating stamp set which has some useful sentiments.  I was immediately drawn to the birds, thinking they’d look great silhouetted against an inked sky.  However, since I’ve done a lot of silhouettes lately, I decided to challenge myself with the flower instead.

Rather than a straight forward strung tag, I wanted to try a folded tag.  The dies are designed to be used on 2” wide strips of card for tags or bookmarks.  As I wanted my card to fold, I needed the card to extend either side of the die so my card was 3” x 5½” in Bushing Bride.  I marked a pencil line at 2¾” and also marked the edges of the cutting lines on the die.  The lines on the die were lined up with the pencil line and the whole thing was run through the Big Shot.

I scored along the pencil line to the edge of the cut out and then erased the pencil line.

The card was then folded at the edges, making the cut area stand up.

I wanted the flower to stand out and also have a little more strength so I cut another flower from Very Vanilla.  The bottom edge of this flower was then cut out using one of the edge dies in the set.

My cutting plates had marked the card quite badly so I ran it through the Scripty EF before sticking the VV flower on the front.

I decorated the front with a sentiment, some hessian ribbon and a branch cut from gold glimmer paper.

This is how the back looks, with the cut out.  I used an old background stamp for the writing on the right-hand tag.  I think this one would make lovely place name settings for a wedding or party.  You could write guest’s menu choices on the inside.

For my second design with this flower die, I thought I’d just do a normal strung tag.  I cut the design out of a 2” strip of Crumb Cake card and then drew around the top on a piece of Very Vanilla and fussy cut the shape.  I marked in pencil where the edges of the flower and leaves were and added a little colour with sponge daubers.

The tag was finished by using the Scripty EF again, some gold branches and Old Olive ribbon.

Lastly, I wondered how the flower would look with inlaid pieces.  The flower was cut out of Blushing Bride, inlaid with Very Vanilla petals and Old Olive leaves and mounted on Crumb Cake folded tag base.  Gold branches and hessian ribbon complete the look.

So there you have it –  3 different looks from one die.  My next challenge will be to use this die to make some cards.  Watch this space!

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!

 

 

 

Crafty As Mr L!

My right arm has continued to be troublesome and achy so I’ve still been unable to craft this week.  It has been driving me crazy not being able to create!!  The physio has given me different exercises this week and I think they are slowly starting to make a difference. Instead of crafting, I’ve been focused on ‘eating clean’ and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day (spurred on by my latest read, The Exercise Cure by Jordan Metzl, MD).  I have an auto-immune based arthritis and changing to a Paleo diet a few years ago put my symptoms into remission.  You know what it’s like though – I started to feel better so being as strict with my diet slipped a little…. then a little more.  The physio has determined that the pain in my wrist is arthritic so that’s made me focus on what I can do to help myself again.  We’ve upped our fruit and vegetable intake to about 8-9 portions a day and I’ve been very strict about no dairy as I know that my body doesn’t tolerate it very well.  Mr L has been doing a modified Paleo diet; his includes bread, peanuts and beer!

Focusing more on veg has meant making the most of the tail end of the growing season in our veg patch.  We’ve not been quite so organised with successional sowing this year, so we’re down to beetroot, tomatoes, chillies and cucumber now.  And the squashes!  They are currently sunbathing on the swing seat to harden their skins to improve their storage time.

We’ve tried storing the squashes in the garage but I think it was too warm and lots rotted.  Last year we stored them in the cold frame but since it was down the bottom of the garden, it was harder to keep an eye out for rotting fruits and we also forgot to use them.  We’ve done a lot of work in our garden in the 5 years we’ve been here and had many deliveries which arrived on pallets, which got stacked up on the front lawn.  I think our record was 27 at one time!!  Mr L has been using them to build compost heaps and he made a very study log store with them a few years ago so I asked if he’d be able to make a pumpkin storage rack that we could keep by the back door.  He was up for the challenge!

He began with the sturdiest pallet for the base and cut it to size using his chain saw.  Boys and their toys!!

Next, he removed some long slats from another pallet for the uprights.

These were joined lengthways in readiness for the roof.

He cut sections from other pallets to make the roof.

Next, he added some shelves….

…and a coat of timber preservative.

The sides and back were lined with some sacking, some damp-proof membrane was stapled onto the roof and a piece of scaffold netting was secured to the top to keep out the worst of the rain.  Here’s the finished rack.

Top job, Mr L!

 

Left-Handed Crafting!

I’m happy to report that I’m out of the sling this week although nowhere near back to normal yet ☹ The few days in the sling allowed my muscles to calm down enough so that the weight of my arm was bearable again.  This week I’ve had some physio and acupuncture and I’ve got this really jazzy strapping helping me out.

However, I still can’t use my right hand for very long until my arm starts to hurt so I thought I’d challenge my left hand to some everyday tasks!  The first was writing.  Well, I struggled to even hold the pen to begin with! My pages of alphabet look like they were written by a 6-year old but at least they look like letters.  My blog posts and photo editing is also all being done left handed, albeit slowly, but I have learned some useful keyboard shortcuts.

So, then I turned my attention to crafting and what I could make that would be simple, forgiving and hopefully not too frustrating.  I had some 2” strips of card left over from another project that I’d saved for tags, so tags it was! My coordination with my left-hand, when operating solo, is a bit sketchy so I used my Stamparatus to help with the stamping.  The bare trees from Winter Woods were mounted on one side of the door and the greeting on the other.  I stamped them onto the lining paper so I could line up my tags with the images.

Using Versamark ink and clear embossing powder, I stamped and heat set the trees on each tag.  Then I cut a wavy edge to the top of a Post-it note for the mask and used the overhangs of the mask to hold the tag in position.  I used a sponge brayer to colour the sky.  The ink is applied so gradually, it’s a very forgiving method so handy for my non-dominant hand.

The embossing resists the ink and any residue was easily removed with a tissue.  To give more texture to the sky, I spritzed some water on and dabbed it off with a tissue.

Next, the door of the Stamparatus was turned over so I could stamp the greeting.  I then punched the tops with the Scalloped Tag Topper punch.

Since they were Christmas tags, I wanted a bit of sparkle so I put them into my ‘spraying box’ and sprayed with Champagne Shimmer Mist/isopropyl alcohol mix.

The last job was to attach some ribbon, for which I did have to bring my right hand out of retirement!  The whole project probably took me twice as long as usual but at least I was crafting.  It must have given my brain quite a workout too as I had to have a nap afterwards!

 

 

Images © 2019 Stampin’ Up!