In the Frame!
I know that I have been harping on about the Susan's Garden collection of 3D flower dies from Sizzix but I make no apologies whatsoever because they are Amazing to work with and the results are always first class. This week I thought I would post some simple instructions using the dogwood flower set. I have used it in a slightly different way to which it was intended which is fine because if it looks great it is great, end of story!
I wanted to decorate a picture frame for my Mum keeping to a very simple colour palette and here is how I began........
I started by gathering together my Tool Kit and die set next I cut the flowers and stamen from white card and the leaves from green card. I used a Memento dye ink pad to add a little colour to the edges of the petals, chalks also work well for applying colour.
I used my stylus tools and molding mat to soften the card and form into a more naturalistic petal shape (see Instructions by following this link). Next attach both sets of petals using PVA and use a stylus to form the stamen.
Add PVA glue to the tips of the stamen and dip into Lemon Flower Soft (or pale green if preferred) and once dry, mount into the centre of the flower.
Add a little depth to the colour of the leaves using Dark brown and blue Distress inks to give a more naturalistic appearance. Next, use the leaf tool to add a vain down the centre of the leaf and use the stylus tools to form the edges. Pinch each leaf at the end which attaches to the flower and attach to the back of the flower using PVA glue.
Repeat this process a dozen times (actually, you would do them all together in a mini production line!) and attach to your frame.
In the Garden!
Looks like Spring has been waiting patiently to reveal it's true colours, this year more than ever there has been an explosion of colour as all the trees come into blossom at once and everywhere generally looks more lush and green.
I will be out collecting wild garlic this weekend which grows by the ton where I live, it has a short lived season but is fantastic to cook with especially the leaves which resemble lily of the valley (don't mix them up or tummy ache will be the least of your worries!) the flowers are a fantastic addition to a salad and really tasty too.
The last couple of weeks I have introduced the new range of dies from Susan Tierney-Cockburn which come under the collective name of Susan's Garden which you can see by clicking the link. If you are a paper crafter and you love flowers and I have yet to meet a paper crafter who doesn't, then you will be over the moon with this new collection.
There is a tool kit in the range which is a fab addition to any one's arsenal of tools and is a must for adding dimension and texture to any paper craft project. Once you get used to the jargon and techniques you will be up to speed in no time, there are lots of handy hints and tips on the website and clear instructions on how to create realistic paper blooms in no time.
Here are a few examples which we took along to our recent trade show which all so feature the Sizzix Bigz XL dies to create the birdhouse and wheel barrow Just in case you haven't guessed by now, I LOVE this collection and I'm sure it will grow and grow (No pun intended!)
Hi all, I am back at Sizzix Central after spending the weekend in the beautiful and historic city of Porto in northern Portugal. I was there as one of five tutors at an event run by Tubo who distribute Sizzix products amongst others, I will post some of the pictures next week. It was beautifully run, as always, by Patricia and her team and it was especially nice to catch up with old friends and make a few new ones along the way.
As I said last week I was teaching some 3-D flower techniques using the new and ground breaking dies by US designer Susan Tierney-Cockburn who has created a fantastic range of dies which I implore you to seek out.
There is one special little lady I was most anxious to meet in Portugal, she is Patricia's daughter and her name is Leonor, she will be 2 years old this month and she is absolutely gorgeous, if you don't believe me then check out the photograph below embellished of course using some of the aforementioned 3-D flowers and the new Collectable range of papers from My Mind's Eye.
On the go!
On Sunday evening I returned from Sweden where I was giving workshops in all things Sizzix. I had a great time and everyone was so warm and friendly. It was especially nice to meet Eva and Marinette who work at Inzpira Magazine which is rapidly becoming one of our favourite titles here at Sizzix Central. They are so passionate about what they do, and how they do it, it's quite infectious!
The projects in the mag are really inspirational and it has such a clean, fresh layout you can't help but love it. I was given a sneak preview of their English language version for ipad which is really innovative. Follow the link above and you won't be disappointed trust me! Here is a picture of me and the gals at the warehouse.
The company for whom I was working are called Hobbyworld and they have a great set up with some wicked designers working for them on their blog check it out to see some truly stunning work, I have it bookmarked already!
This post is entitled On the go! and there is a good reason for that because this weekend I am off to Porto to visit my good friend Patricia whom i haven't seen for two years. Patricia is the driving force behind Tubo de Ensaio a wonderful company which treats it's customers like family, if only all businesses where like that!
I am attending the annual event as one of five teachers of real quality so no pressure!!!! Hopefully we will be creating the boxes below along with the rose and lily which were made using our new range of dies which has just been launched. They are designed by a very clever lady named Susan Tierney-Cockburn who has been at the forefront of paper flower designs in the USA for many years now.
The range is called Susan's Garden and I had the privilege of making all the project samples for our recent trade show. I will talk more about the range next week, Adeus!
Spring in your Step!
..... Don't want to speak too soon but we may have seen the last of the snow which has been clinging stubbornly to the hills around my home for the last 2/3 weeks. My daughter and I went for a walk on Sunday without our coats on so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
The daffodils which seem to occupy every roadside verge in Wales these days are picking their heads up after their premature snowy burial cruelly stopped them in their tracks and the blossom is starting to appear on the trees which means I'll start sneezing any time soon!
At the beginning of January I made this simple flower garland and at the time Spring seemed like a very distant prospect, but I kept the photo's waiting for the right time and here it is!
The dies used where all from the Botanical Sanctuary and English Garden collections designed by Scrappy Cat for Sizzix and they are all Sizzlit dies. Click on the links above to see the individual collections.All of the flowers and butterflies were die cut from quality, smooth heavy weight white card. I started by cutting two shapes. Trim around the flower heads of one of the die cuts and put to one side.Use an assortment of Distress Inks to colour the foliage, I have used the colours Mustard Seed, Crushed Olive and Faded Jeans but feel free to use any die inks that suit the purpose. Build up the colour starting with the lightest first until you have the result you desire.Use a spritzer Bottle filled with water to spray onto the inked die cut creating a mottled effect. Use your preferred ink shades to colour the flower heads, mist as before and attach to the complete die cut once dry. To Add a little pizazz use a light dusting of Spray and Sparkle glitter varnish.Choose a selection of your favourite flower and butterfly die cuts and use the same inking techniques on each, try blending the ink, particularly on the butterflies to create interesting two tone effects. Once you have your assembled die cuts attach each one to a plain garland made of twigs.
Next week my Nephew Josh will be celebrating his fourth Birthday and like many four year old boys he is actually a blood thirsty pirate, the scourge of the Caribbean who only goes to school on his days off!
With that in mind I created a birthday card using some plain card stock a set of circle Framelits dies (Circles #2 by Paula Pascual - 658684) and a pair of scissors, Here's how I got on!
I love working with circle dies, they are so versatile and with a few simple techniques you can get some wicked results. If you want to find out more follow this link and look at the simple shapes section.
I started by cutting out the circles to make the bandanna head and ear, I cut the red and white circles roughly in half and used strips of the white semi circle to decorate the red semi circle.
To make an earring I cut a small silver circle and placed a smaller Framelits die onto the circle to cut an offset aperture, snip through the top and attach to the ear. Next, I die cut a black circle, folded it in half and used a pair of scissors to cut two semi circles, these will eventually form a very sinister moustache!To make the eye I cut two different sized circles one black and one white, attached them together and cut them in half. To make the eye patch, I cut a black circle and trimmed away the top before attaching to a strip of black card. For the pirates Bandanna knot and nose I die cut a red and cream circle and then re-cut them with the same dies to create the leaf shapes.Now its time to assemble the pirate. I began by gently curling the nose and Moustache and attaching with PVA. The eye was attached with a 3D foam pad followed by the eye patch. Finally I used another 3D foam pad to attach the ear to the head.The 'Cap'n Joshua' poster was created using my PC and printer, after trimming to size I used my scissors to make it look old and care worn in a pirate styley! The base card was made from wood effect card from the My Mind's Eye Miss Caroline Collection and I used a craft knife to trim the edges to imitate rough boards.TOO MUCH FUN! I'm sure you'll agree?
Notice how I resisted using any terrible Easter puns in the title. Nothing about our egg-citing new die ranges or how egg-static I am to be working with the latest Stephanie Barnard collection!
I am, however enjoying working with the aforementioned range, especially the flip-its card dies, the Easter themed stamp/Framelits sets and the Easter egg Framelits dies, check out the website and run a search under the name Stephanie Barnard...Clever lady!
Check out some of the eggs-amples below....DOH!
Desert Island Dies
If you are wondering what the title of this blog is all about it's very simple, 'If you could only choose a dozen dies to take to a desert island what would they be and why?'
I'm not going to list them here as I would spend forever whittling down my choices, it would be a nightmare! The most important quality a die can have for me is versatility, something you can use all year round and never get tired of or run out of inspiration.
This description fits many of my favourite dies and one of my new favourite sets from super talented designer Paula Pascual's inspired Fresh Moments collection fits the bill perfectly.
The set in question is Wrappers (658613) and to look at it's deceptively simple but it offers a ton of creative mileage. The great thing about Framelits is the ability to crop images and text very accurately, ideal for scrapbookers and cardmakers alike, and because the blade is on the inside edge of the die you never get any unwanted emboss lines creeping in.
To illustrate what I mean about the versatile nature of this set, I have decided to create 3 card toppers combining the Framelits with 3 similar embossing folders from Tim Holtz but using different colour palettes to suite each theme.
The Texture Fades Embossing Folders used are:
I started by measuring the circle dies and Recreating the same size circle on the desktop of my PC, this will act as a template over which to drop my text. As you can see below, I created phrases for Christmas,Halloween and Valentines. The great thing about using a PC to create and print your greetings is the ability to personalize your message making it ideal also for wedding stationary etc.Once I have the phrases how I want them I simply remove the circle which was acting as a template and print onto heavy weight white card. Next, position the framelits over the phrases and pass through your Big Shot.I took a piece of smooth white card and added colour using assorted blue Distress Inks before embossing. Next, I used a darker blue ink pad to pick up the detail in the embossed image. I die cut all the elements to create my wrapper from white and teal card before embossing the long white element with a snowflake border folder and inking to bring out the detail. Finally, I assembled my wrapper and attached it to the embossed background using double sided tape before mating onto a teal background.Below are my other efforts, and even though they share many things in common they are all very different. Truth is, I could have kept going all day, Weddings, Christenings Father's and Mother's Day, Easter.....etc, etc, etc!Enjoy!
- Christmas Background & Border Set (657480)
- Valentines Background & Border Set (657490)
- Halloween Background & Border Set (657465)
All white on the Night!
I have just finished creating a series of cards for a magazine which used lots of different dies, papers, and techniques and my brain is a bit frazzled so I thought I'd strip it back to basics and just use white card for my blog this week.
I made some cards featuring free down loadable papers which are on our website as we speak, check out this link
I liked one of the cards in particular so I thought I would reproduce it in white which always yields elegant results, ideal for wedding cards.
I used the following Sizzix products:
I started by embossing the rectangle of white card and attaching it to the base card about 10mm from the top left hand corner. Next I cut all of the elements to create the bouquet from the same white cardstock.Next, I tied a length of satin ribbon around the base of the flower stems and decorated it with two pearl tipped pins. To add dimension to the flowers I used a ball end stylus and foam shaping mat to add a gentle curl to the petals. I mounted the assembled flowers onto the card using 3D foam pads. When you are working in a single colour like white, texture and dimension become very important because light and shadow create the contrast.Finally, decorate the flowers with pearl gems and there you have it. Really simple and elegant. Here it is next to the original, hope you like it?
- Sizzix Framelits Dies - Bunch of Flowers by Paula Pascual (658602)
- Sizzix Textured Impressions Embossing folder - Doily & Roses Set by Scrappy Cat (658517)
Mum's the word
Last week's blog was entitled 'Keep it Simple', this week I'm keeping it even simpler! I have chosen a classic colour combination of black, white and pink with a dash of silver thrown in for good measure. Again I'm using some of the Thinlits from the Echo Park collection.
When you choose simple block colours as I have and a hand full of dies the next challenge is the composition. I usually cut out the elements and move them round the page until I find a pleasing arrangement.
This card is not really my cup of tea, but I'm not making it for me. There is a lady however who will love it, whose mantle piece it will grace for the next couple of weeks.
You can see the dies and card below and you will notice that two of them have paper inside them, this is standard kitchen greaseproof or wax paper as it is sometimes called. With the more complex Thinlits designs it is sometimes fiddly to remove the die cuts, this is the price we pay for that delicious detail.
When I make my first cut I place a sheet of greaseproof paper between the die and the card, the greaseproof remains embedded in the die and makes removing the die cut shape so much easier.
For more details, it is really well explained on the Tubo blog site by my good friend Patricia and here is a link.
The only thing used apart from the dies and card was adhesive and a few gems, The phrases were created on my PC and, as we are no doubt familiar, one of the advantages of Thinlits/Framelits is that you can place them over a stamped or printed phrase and cut with perfect precision. If when creating the phrase on screen you have your document at 100% you can literally hold your die against the screen to make sure it fits before printing.It's a great way to make your papercraft projects bespoke and personal.
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