Mistletoe Season Card – with a bunny ears bow!

With the Christmas season fast approaching, it’s time to get making your Christmas cards – although I have been making mine since July!  The stamp set comes with a bow that you can stamp but I thought it looked a bit flat so decided to add a real ribbon bow instead.

If you’d like to watch my YouTube video tutorial, please follow this link               https://youtu.be/jPM1RmNVfQE

The video is unedited and contains all my mistakes for added entertainment value! Please be kind, it was also my first ever go at a YouTube tutorial!! Apologies for the lighting, I’m sorting it out for future videos.

For this card, I used:

Green card base, 4” x 11¾” and scored at 5¾” in Always Artichoke (retired)

Red mat layer 5⅝” x 3⅞” in Real Red

White inner 5⅝” x 3⅞” in Whisper White

White card front 5½” x 3¾” in Whisper White

Strip of Designer Series Paper (DSP) 5⅜” x ¾” in any design you like

2 scraps of green and white card for the labels

A strip of green card left over from cutting your card base. Cut an A4 sheet in portrait at 4” and again at 4”. You should be left with a strip just over ¼” wide.  Cut it in half lengthways to give you the strip of card.

Stampin’ Up! Mistletoe Season stamp set

Real Red ribbon, about 10”

Everyday Label punch

Shimmer Ink – Champagne Mist

SU Garden Green ink

SU Old Olive ink

Memento Tuxedo Black ink

Adhesive pearl embellishments

With a sponge dauber, apply a little (and I mean a little – it goes a long way!) shimmer ink to the green strip.  Punch out a label from your scrap of green and cut it in half along the straight edge.  Dab some Shimmer Ink on the curvy edges of the label.  If you don’t have Shimmer Ink, you could stick glitter on or leave it plain.

Sorry, I didn’t photograph these bits individually but you can see here which sides to glitter the green card.

Adhere the DSP to the left of the card front layer, setting it in about 1/16th from the left edge.

Stamp the open leaved mistletoe sprig with Garden Green and the solid leaved sprig with Old Olive (although I did this the other way around on the video).

Partially stamp the liner and the envelope in Old Olive by stamping off the edge of the page.  Stamp the sentiment on the scrap of white card and cut out with the punch.

Your green glimmer decorative strip should be dry by now so stick it onto the card front, just overlapping the edge of the DSP.

Make the bow.  This method of bow making is called the Bunny Ears technique and is used as the bow loops stay at the top and the tails go to the bottom naturally.  It takes a bit of fiddling about but produces a nice-looking bow.

Begin by making a loop…

…and then make another the same size.

Tie the loops together in a knot.  It will probably look a mess at this stage.

Pull the tails of the bow to make the loops smaller and pull the loops to tighten the knot.  Keep repeating this process until you’re happy with your bow then trim the ends of the ribbon and use a glue dot behind the knot to stick the bow in the gap between the mistletoe stems.

Cut the green label in half and stick each half to the back of the sentiment label, allowing the glittered edges to protrude.  Trim off any green that’s overhanging the top or bottom of the white label.  Apply foam Dimensionals to the back of the label and attach it to the bottom of the card.

For the mistletoe berries, add a few self-adhesive pearl embellishments.

Finally, adhere the card top onto the red mat layer and then onto the card base and add the liner.

 

 

 

Images ©Stampin’ Up!

Chicken Weaving – not with real chickens!

My crafty friend, Lorie, and I like to go and have a bash at new crafts now and again and this time Lorie found a willow weaving course so we could weave our own chicken.

Well why wouldn’t you?

The course was run at Farnham Maltings by Judith Needham, who teaches basket making and willow weaving in Surrey and Hampshire.  She was a very knowledgeable and encouraging teacher with a structured but relaxed teaching style.  Most of the time she just left us to get on with it, which both Lorie and I appreciated.

Judith had models on display for inspiration; pecking chickens and a cockerel.  You could also choose a design or other animal if chickens weren’t your bag.  We chose cockerels!

After a brief explanation on the types on willow we could use, we were presented with our metal hoops (to become chicken legs later) and a big wooden block to support our creation.

We started off by making a rugby ball type shape as the building block for the body of the chicken which had to be woven onto the metal hoop. Apparently this is massively structurally important and you can’t skimp on it.

The next stage was to extend the ball to add on the chest area of the cockerel.  Judith produced some photos of cockerels so we could get an idea of the form we were aiming for.  The long lengths that were woven in started off as the tail feathers, were woven through the body and then bent and woven back into the body again to secure.  This was repeated until the chest was full enough. We also did the legs at this point with a different type of willow, the red coloured one, by wrapping the willow tightly around the metal and then weaving it into the body to secure.

The final part was to make the comb and beak, add an eye and more tail feathers if required. By this stage, mine had grown quite large and I felt he’d developed quite a character so rather than just having a beak, I decided to have him crowing, probably loudly!

And this is him, Roger The Rooster, back in the garden.  It was my intention to have him guard the veg patch from marauding pigeons but I haven’t yet found a block of wood big enough to support him!

Tone-on-Tone Dandelion Wishes

If you are new to card making, it can be overwhelming, not to mention expensive, choosing which items of kit to buy as there are so many things which people deem to be indispensable.  It doesn’t have to be like that though.  Choose one or maybe two stamp sets that you love and can immediately imagine what you’d make with them, add a couple of ink pads in your favourite colours plus a black one, some white card stock and you’re off to a good start.  You can easily build on this foundation purchase once you develop your style and preferred mediums and colours.

So, my first card project to share with you is a tone-on-tone card using the Stampin’ Up! Dandelion Wishes stamp set – an absolute favourite of mine, I can’t ever imagine getting bored of it!  It involves a bit of sponging, some stamping and a single colour of ink and cardstock.  The great thing about Stampin’ Up! is that there is matching cardstock for each ink colour, with the addition of coordinating embellishments like ribbon, twine and rhinestones.  It takes away the guesswork and ensures your projects have a coordinated look.

For this card, I used:

  • White card base: 11.5” x 4⅛”, scored at 5¾”
  • Rich Razzleberry mat layer: 5½” x 3⅞”
  • White inner layer: 5½” x 3⅞”
  • White topper layer: 5¼” x 3⅝”
  • Two 5” x 3” post-it notes
  • Stampin’ Up! Dandelion Wishes stamp set
  • Stampin’ Up! Rich Razzleberry Ink Pad
  •  A piece of sponge or a sponge dauber
  • Scratch paper for working on – it can get a bit messy
  • Stampin’ Up! Basic Rhinestones (optional)

Using small pencil marks, mark on your white topper layer where you want your coloured panel to be.  I did 1” and 2½” from the left-hand side.  Tear a narrow piece from the sticky edge of the post-it note, ensuring there’s still some sticky area left.  Or alternatively you can leave the edge straight if you prefer that look.

Apply the post-it masks to the topper, roughly in line with your pencil marks and press down well.  Erase the pencil marks if you can still see them.  Put this onto a piece of scratch paper as you’ll be sponging off the edge of the card.

Dab the sponge onto the ink pad and apply the ink using small circular movements starting on the post-it note at the top of the card and working onto the card.  Slowly work the sponge down the card as the amount of ink reduces so that you get a graduated effect with the top of the card being darker than the bottom.  Once you’re happy with the effect, carefully remove the masks and leave to dry a little.

Using Rich Razzleberry ink, stamp the triple dandelion image so that the stalks are just off the bottom of the page.  Position it centrally in the lighter section of the inked panel. (A stamp positioner like the Stampin’ Up! Stamparatus is really handy and I found it improved the quality of my stamping no end.  But it’s not essential; you may well be a championship stamper using blocks or woodmount stamps.   I wasn’t!)  Stamp your sentiment in the same colour.

Holding the inner liner (make sure your fingers are clean!) lightly go over the edges of the liner with your sponge without inking it up again.  Stamp the other dandelion image in the bottom left corner, going off the edge and stamp the seed in the top right corner.

Stamp some images onto your envelope too.

Layer up the card.  Adhere the topper to the coloured mat layer and then adhere to the card base.  Add the liner to the inside.

Optional: Add one of each size of rhinestones to the centre of the dandelions for a bit of extra zing!

You’re all done!

Variations

If you use a stamp positioner, like the Stamparatus, you could emboss the dandelions after you’ve stamped them using Versamark ink and clear embossing powder to add a little extra shine.

Change up the look by using coloured card for the topper and emboss the image and sentiment using Versamark ink and silver embossing powder.  I also added some second generation stamping along the bottom edge, lightly sponged the edges with the matching ink and stamped the seed images around the edge of the mat layer.

Another option, if you have more ink pads, is to create an ombre effect by blending one colour into the next to make a seamless transition – another post to follow with this technique.

Whichever method you try, you’re sure to produce a stylist result!

Images ©Stampin’ Up!

Hello and welcome!

Hello and welcome to my craft blog!  I’m completely new at this lark and so out of my depth as I’m not the least bit computer savvy…..but I’m learning.   Every day’s a school day, as they say.  I had been reticent to do a blog as I thought it would impinge on my crafting time, allowing me to do less.  In fact, it inspires me to do more and gives me a kick up the bum to get on with it rather than surfing around the internet looking at things I could be doing.

So, I thought I’d write my first blog post about my craft room.  Now I wouldn’t say that I’m the messiest person in the world but there are times when I could give him/her a good run for their money!  After walking into my craft room this morning and it looked like a whirlwind had been through there, I decided to have a big tidy up, which then also turned into a bit of a clear out. It got worse before it got better but very cathartic, if you’re in that kind of mood.

I found 2 quilts in various stages of completeness, some half-finished Christmas cards from last year and off cuts of curtain fabric from a house I bought about 23 years ago!  I hate throwing stuff out but enough’s enough!  Along with the curtain off cuts went small random sized bits of curtain heading tape, unfinished clothing projects from years ago that probably wouldn’t fit me now even if I wanted to finish them and a myriad of miscellaneous fabric and craft stuff that I’d been holding on to ‘just in case’.

IT FELT GOOD!

I then put everything away again and made the place nice and neat.  Now all I have to do is keep it that way!  Easier said than done.  I am rather a messy worker and I also get quite easily distracted and will start another project without finishing, or even putting away, the first.  (It’s become apparent why my Mum used to call me ‘Lorraine The Unfinished’ when I was young!)  Hence why there were pieces for a dress pattern, zips, various fabrics and a load of card making stuff all over my desk this morning.

Must.  Try.  Harder.

Anyway, that’s probably too many words already.  I hope you enjoy my posts and they inspire you to get out and get crafting…..or at least have a good tidy up!