Cool Yule Christmas Tags

I never make enough tags for our Christmas gifts and usually end up frantically cutting out bits of card at the last minute!  To avoid the problem this year, I decided I would start making tags in batches.  I saw a YouTube demonstration of this technique and thought it ideal since you make 10 tags at a time and it allows you to use up a load of scrap pieces.

For this project I used:

A4 sheet of thick card for the tag backs

Scraps of white card for the houses

SU! Hometown Greetings Edgelits

SU! Balmy Blue ink

SU! Pacific Point ink

Shimmer ink in Frost White

‘Merry Christmas’ greeting from SU! Half Full stamp set

SU! Scalloped tag topper punch

2.5m ribbon

In pencil, mark the half way mark on the short sides of the A4 card.  This is a rough guide for your blending as you want the central portion to stay white.  Sponge Balmy Blue ink into the card using circular motions, building up the colour from the long edges and fading toward the centre.  I added some Pacific Point ink to intensify the blue at the edge.  Once the ink blending is complete, spritz lightly with plain water and then immediately use a tissue to absorb the water which will also lift the ink in those spots, giving a distressed, snowy look.

Cut the card in half along the white centre and then into 2” wide strips.  To add some shimmer, I spritzed the tags with a few drops of Frost White Simmer ink mixed into some rubbing alcohol and left them to dry.

Using the scrap pieces of white, cut out 10 houses using the Hometown Greetings edgelits.

Trim off any partial or unwanted houses and then glue the houses onto the blue end of the tag.  Trim off any overhanging house layer.

Punch the tops of the tags with the tag topper punch.

I used the Stamparatus to stamp the ‘Merry Christmas’ greeting on each tag.

Cut the ribbon into 10”/25cm pieces and tie onto the tags.  All finished!

 

Images © Stampin’ Up!

 

More clucking chickens – apologies for the fowl language!

My good friend Lorie and I had a day out at the Knitting and Stitching Show at the Ally Pally last Thursday.  I had gone with the intention of not buying a load more fabric and yarn, since I already have stacks of both, but to look for something different.  I bought a couple of embroidery sets which I really liked, even though embroidery isn’t usually my thing, and a couple of metres of a fabric with a dandelion print – you’ll probably have realised by now how fond I am of dandelion silhouettes so I couldn’t leave without it!

My main purchase was a block printing kit for printing designs onto fabric.  It was purchased from Block Craft who had a well-designed stall with demonstrations of the technique, lots of examples of the paint colours, stamps, stamped tea towels, bags, clothing and wrapping paper and all that sold it to me. Whilst I realise this is not different as such since it’s very similar to card stamping, I’ve never really done anything with fabric so I was keen to try it out.

The starter kit came with instructions, a paint tray, a foam mat, 3 sponge blocks, 3 pots of paint in colours of your choice, a plain cotton tea towel and bag and £15 towards blocks of your choice.  I chose Duck Egg Blue, Indigo and Grey fabric paints and a trio of chickens.

During the demonstration, the stallholder said that less is more when applying the paint to the blocks with the sponge.  If you apply too much, it fills in the crevices of the stamp and you lose the definition, so I decided to have a practice of some scrap fabric before I committed to my tea towel.

The process is: pour some paint into the tray; dab the sponge in the paint; dab the sponge around the tray to even out the paint on the sponge and then apply lightly to the block.  Place the fabric on the foam mat and press the block onto the fabric.  Simples!

I wanted to try out some of my photopolymer stamps as I fancied personalising my tea towel so I used my Stampin’ Up! Letters For You stamp set and an acrylic block.  It does work but it requires careful application of the paint as the relief on the stamps is not as deep as the wooden blocks so it’s easy to get paint on the background part of the stamp.  I think rubber stamps would probably be easier to use with the paints – I’ll be trying that out when I’ve bought more plain tea-towels!

I decided to print my words first as I thought it’d be easier to fit the chickens in around them afterwards.  I think I ‘over-chickened’ the parts at the side of the letters as I’d not really got a pattern established then.  I’d think more about placement next time.

To heat set the fabric paint and make it washable, leave the tea towel to dry overnight, then either tumble dry on high for 10-15 minutes or iron with hot dry iron.

I had a bit of a gap at the top and bottom of the tea towel and a bit of paint left so I decided to stamp a few lines of hearts.

I’m really pleased with the end result and I will be buying more tea towels and experimenting with my various stamp sets.

 

Letter images © Stampin’ Up!

Tool Kit Card – retired but not forgotten!

I guess it’s unusual for a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator to be using retired products and I appreciate that it may be a little frustrating if you fancy making this card but the products are no longer for sale, apologies for that.  However, there will be many people, like me, who purchased this set and would like some ideas – hence the ‘retired but not forgotten’ slogan.  As soon as I saw this set, I had to have it as my Dad is a retired joiner so it is the perfect set for cards for him – although I’m not sure how many cards with tools I can get away with sending him! My Dad is the most practical and capable person I know and I like to think that my crafting genes have descended from his practical ones! Mind you, my Mum’s no slouch in the crafting department either, particularly if it comes to knitting which I’m certain she can do with her eyes closed!  Anyhow, “Nailed It” and the accompanying die set “Build It” are a great set for masculine cards, which I find are rather a tricky genre.

For this card I used:

11½” x 4⅛” scored at 5¾” brown card, I used Crumb Cake but any brown will work

5¾” x 1¼” strip of the same brown card

6” x 3½” piece of silver foil card

5¼” x 2¼” Very Vanilla card for the liner

2” x 4” of coloured cardstock for the tool handles

SU! Nailed It stamp set

SU! Build It Framelit Dies

SU! Hardwood background stamp

SU! Pinewood Planks embossing folder

To make the toolbox handle, take the cardbase and mark the centre of the top edge of the card.  Place a shaped die to cut out the handle hole; I used an oval die measuring 2⅛” x 1⅛” from a label set I have but you could use a rectangle or similar, you just need a ‘hole’ shape!  Fold the base card along the score line, place the die centrally about ⅜” from the top edge and run through the Big Shot cutting both layers.  If it doesn’t quite cut through the bottom layer, it will make an impression so you know where to reposition the die to cut through that layer.

To shape the corners of the toolbox, mark the top edge 1½” along from each edge and 1¼” down each side and join with a pencil line.  Cut along these lines through both front and back pieces.  Erase any pencil marks still showing.

Your now have your basic toolbox.  You can use it like this or add more interest by stamping with the Hardwood stamp or using the Pinewood planks embossing folder.  I’m going to emboss this one.  Position the front of the card into the embossing folder and run through the Big Shot.  Repeat with the small piece of card.

Apply glue to the side and bottom edges of the small piece and attach it to the bottom of the base card.  It should make a small ‘pocket’ to put your tools in.

Make the tools by cutting out of silver foil sheet.  You can stamp and colour the tools but I decided to do a quicker version by just cutting out the tools using foil sheet and then adding handles onto the screwdriver, saw and hammer.

To make the tool handles, ink up the hardwood stamp and stamp onto the coloured cardstock you’ve chosen for the handles.  I’m using real red card and basic grey ink.  It’s easiest to lay the stamp face up, ink it up and then place the cardstock on top, cover with a piece of scrap paper and then rub over with your fingers.

Align the hammer, screwdriver and saw framelit handles with the printed grain and cut out.  Trim to leave the handles only and glue onto the tools.

Position the tools where you want them in the tool box and then dab a bit of glue behind the tops to secure.

Add a sentiment.  I stamped ‘Happy Birthday’ from the Perennial Birthday stamp set onto one of the ovals I cut out earlier for the toolbox handle.  This card would also be great for a retirement or ‘significant’ birthday when gold or silver glimmer paper could be used instead of the foil sheet for extra wow!

Using the Nailed It stamp set, stamp some screws, nails and nuts onto the card liner and the envelope.  Stick the liner to the card.

You’re all finished!

Another version with darker card for the ‘wood’ and grey handles

 

 

Thanks to Amanda Fowler of Inspiring Inkin’ for the inspiration for this card.

https://www.inspiringinkin.com/

 

Images ©Stampin’ Up!

Dragonflies & Dandelions Card

After spending (erm…wasting!) many hundreds of £££ buying stamp sets that I liked but didn’t have any ideas for, I now only buy stamp sets that I can immediately think of 3 projects or cards that I could use them for. This was the case with Stampin’ Up!’s Dragonfly Dreams and more recently Dandelion Wishes, the latter being one of my all-time favourite sets.  I thought that the two sets would complement each other well  and decided to use the dandelion stamp to make my version of DSP (Designer Series Paper).  Here’s the card.

I wanted a monochrome look so stamped in grey ink but you could use any colours you fancy.  Here’s another I made using light turquoise ink and a scrap of ice blue glitter card I found in my large box of card offcuts.  You can really see the wing detail of the stamped image.

This is another different look using Crushed Curry and Pumpkin Pie inks together with gold glimmer paper.

If you’d like to watch my YouTube video tutorial on making this card, please click this link

https://youtu.be/DUKUmoHxfiE

To make this card, I used:

  • Stampin’ Up! Dragonfly Dreams stamps and Dragonfly thinlits
  • Stampin’ Up! Dandelion Wishes stamps
  • 11.5″ x 4 1/8″ white card base, unscored (you will score it later)
  • 5.5″ x 3 7/8″ card lining piece, I used grey
  • 3.5″ x 3″ pieces of silver glitter card and grey card for the dragonfly cut outs
  • Scraps of white/grey for the sentiment
  • Co-ordinating ink pad
Materials needed
  1. Stamp the dragonfly showing the wing details onto the small grey piece of card and then cut out using the solid framelit.
  2. Cut out the detailed dragonfly framelit using the glitter card.
  3. Stick the glitter dragonfly onto the grey stamped dragonfly image, only adhering the body and tail.  Gently bend the glitter wings up a little to give the 3D effect.

    3D glitter dragonfly (left) and inlaid dragonfly (instructions later)
  4. Measure 5.75″ along your card base and put a couple of tiny pencil marks.  Stick a post-it note along these marks, positioned to the left of the marks.
  5. Stamp your background image using the Dandelion Wishes stamps.  Less is more –  you don’t want to entirely cover the card.  Ensure you stamp off the edges too.  Whilst you’ve got your ink out, add a little stamped detail to your card inner and the envelope and stamp your sentiment on the scrap of white.
  6. Remove the mask, erase the pencil marks then score the base at 5.75″ and fold in half.
  7. Adhere the liner to the inside of the card.
  8. Cut out your greeting and add a backing if you want.  You can flag the ends, add a mat, add a small offset mat (which I did) – the choice is up to you!  It’s one of the ways you can make the card your own.  I added a grey mat the same size as my sentiment, positioned offset slightly above and left of the sentiment. I thought it looked a bit bare so added a couple of rhinestones – well who doesn’t like a bit of bling?!
  9. Add some foam dimensionals behind the sentiment and the dragonfly body and head and add to your card front.

And you’re all finished!

Try changing things up by trying out different colourways, changing the sentiment and/or changing the position of the elements.  In this one, I used the large detailed dragonfly thinlit and flagged the sentiment banner.

 

Inlaid Dragonfly Directions

If you wanted to use the glitter cut outs from your glitter dragonfly wings to make another card topper, the inlaid dragonfly shown above, here’s what you do.

  1. Stick a piece of double sided adhesive sheet onto another piece of grey 3.5″ x 3″ card stock and cut out the solid dragonfly and also cut a detailed dragonfly out of grey card. 
  2. Remove the adhesive backing paper and adhere the detailed dragonfly  to it.  The adhesive is quite unforgiving so try lining up the body and head first and the wings should follow suit.  (You can always trim off any adhesive backing showing on the front if necessary.) This will leave the holes in the wings with a sticky surface.
  3. Using your silver glitter dragonfly  and trying to keep all the pieces together, lay the  glitter dragonfly directly on top of the one you just made and using tweezers, a cocktail stick, pokey tool or the like, push the cut out pieces through into the adhesive lined holes underneath.  You will have to press quite firmly.
  4. Carefully remove the glitter dragonfly, capturing any cut-outs that haven’t stuck and relocate them.
  5. Press the glitter inserts firmly onto the dragonfly base to ensure they’re properly adhered.

Lo and behold! 2 dragonfly card toppers for your projects!

 

Another project

You can also make this into a cute picture using a shadow box frame.  I used a 10cm x 10cm white shadow box for this.

Thanks to Liz Yuille of Old Stables Crafts for the inspiration for the inlaid dragonfly.  https://oldstablescrafts.co.uk/

Images ©Stampin’ Up!

D-I-Y Wedding

I really resent paying someone to do what I am perfectly capable of doing myself.  Never was this feeling more evident than when Mr. L popped the question and we began to get prices (seemingly complete with the wedding tax!) for the various wedding paraphernalia.  So we decided that we would do as much as possible ourselves so that we could have the day we wanted without feeling that we’d been fleeced!!

We met at work and were friends before romance blossomed.  We used to play (well actually  we still do) the online Scrabble game Words With Friends and it was messaging each other through this that we started to move from friendship to ‘lurve’ 💜! So we thought it apt that our wedding theme would be Scrabble and, somewhat bizarrely, air traffic control!

Mr. L is a reluctant crafter but still got stuck in with helping with the invitations……

CAS (Clean & Simple) is mostly my card making style so a simple design was drawn up and full production started at our dining table.  Unfortunately the wedding invitation is the only thing that I don’t have a photo of.

As we were getting married in a barn which was beautiful in itself, we decided to keep the decor CAS too.   I bought plain white, purple and purple & white gingham polycotton fabric and spent a very pleasant afternoon with my friend Simone, chatting away and making many lengths of bunting.

The outside of the barn was quite plain so we made a bunting to hang outside which also had our initials on so guests knew they were in the right spot.  Mr. L got his crafting mojo on again to make the big Scrabble letters for this …….

……and for the ‘Just Married’ photo shot. (These letters kept our guests entertained whilst they tried to see how many rude words they could display using those letters!)

A Scrabble board welcome sign was displayed in the courtyard…..

and Mr. L and his crafting mojo were back at work again producing a postbox for the cards.

We had a little photo booth caravan in the evening with wigs, hats and silly props which printed out 2 copies of photo strips, one for our guests and the other to put in our photo book with space for them to write a little message. People had a real laugh with this and the photos were brilliant!

The venue stipulated that we had to have real petal confetti so we bought some online in the appropriate colours and I made simple cones from half a doily, added the petals and put them into a hessian lined basket.

We didn’t want the table centres to be too high so people could chat across the table so we bought glass bowls to fill with purple and white  tulips with a wicker heart wreath above with the table name suspended from the top of the heart.  The hearts were decorated with purple ribbon and fake ivy and I glued a piece of metal coat hanger to the bottom with my hot glue gun which would make it stand up amongst the tulips by being stuck into a tea light candle in the bottom of the bowl.  Despite trying this out successfully at home, setting up the day before the wedding was somewhat fraught when the tulips were tiny so we needed twice the amount but more worrying was that the glue holding the tea lights in place came unstuck when water was placed in the bowls.  Aaaarghh!!!! Luckily the barn owner was big into flower arranging and supplied us with some florist tack – a waterproof form of blue tack. Absolute genius! Fortunately we’d ordered twice the amount of tulips so that we could have some in vases around the place so we were able to use these for the table centres …. and we didn’t miss the vases of flowers.

So you may now be wondering what a LAMSO is.  You remember I said that our theme was Scrabble and air traffic control? Well this is the air traffic bit.  LAMSO is a reporting point which is a navigation aid used by pilots and air traffickers as a way point along a certain route (a bit like junction numbers on the motorway).  Reporting points are always 5 letters long so suited our purpose perfectly.

A simple mat of hessian decorated with lace and ribbon, a mirror, a few wooden hearts and a scattering of bling finished off the table centres.

Place setting were made along similar lines.  I bought some burlap ribbon, attached the lace and ribbon, and then added a tag stamped with the guest name and a scrabble tile for their first initial. As we gave our guests a choice of meal several months earlier, I also stamped their food selection in the reverse of the tag, which many people appreciated!

Making the cake was my biggest workload.  I wanted a 4 tier cake but we didn’t have enough guests to shift that quantity of cake.  I attended a one-to-one cake decorating course and the tutor suggested using polystyrene blocks not only to practice on, but to use for the other tiers too.  The plan was from the top polystyrene-sponge-fruit-polystyrene but a disastrous sponge cake icing day (which had me stomping round the house uttering some most unladylike words!) meant we ended up with just the fruit cake layer being actual cake. This was OK though as we still had something to cut into for the photo!  There are many bonuses of icing polystyrene blocks; you can do it well in advance; the fondant icing also sets quite hard so it’s less likely to be damaged in transit; and supporting each layer is not an issue either as the blocks are solid.  So winner all round since nobody is any the wiser that it’s not an actual cake…..until now that is!  I made some Scrabble type tiles for the cake topper and used one of my stamp sets to make the imprint of the letters and then drew in the letters with an edible marker pen.  I’ve decorated a few cakes using wires to support cut outs above the cake and I like the look so that’s what I went for here. I cut out lots (and I mean lots!) of ivy leaves and pushed them around a bit so they weren’t dead flat and then left them to air dry for a couple of days, and then stuck them onto the cake with royal icing. The other layers were decorated simply with royal icing dots, which is easy to do but looks so effective.  I iced the board for a professional look and added ribbon around the bottom of the tiers so I didn’t have to worry about the bottom edge being completely perfect.

So you can do it yourself if you want.  Don’t get me wrong, there were tense moments along the way when I thought “What was I thinking?? Am I completely mad??”, especially the sponge cake icing day and the table centre fiasco, when my future in-laws were about to set off to B&Q to try to find some waterproof adhesive before the florist tack came to the rescue! In the end though, everything looked lovely and just how we’d wanted it to. I don’t know how much money we saved but we had the time to do all these things, enjoyed making all the bits and pieces and had the immense satisfaction of seeing all our hard work come together at the end.  So if you’re thinking about doing something similar, my advice to you would be, if you have the time – do it!!  Plan ahead well, give yourself plenty of time so you don’t end up rushing, rope in your friends and relatives to help, but most of all, enjoy it!