Saturday, December 20, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 12

Well, here we at the final day of my Twelve Days of Christmas challenge - it's hard to believe that there are only a few days more sleeps to Christmas.

As this is the last card I'll be sharing with you using Magenta's My Christmas Tree / Mon Arbre, Ive made one with real impact - an explosion of colour - like all the twinkling lights festooning the houses in my neighbourhood. This technique is called Faux Carnival Glass and its bejewelled appearance belies its simplicity.
I began with a piece of black coreboard the shape of the tree which I coated with Versamark Watermark inkpad and a layer of Franklin Opals embossing powder. In this technique you keep adding layers of powder and heating in between until you have a smooth surface and then you add pieces of Fantasy Film into the molten Opals. I like to give it another burst of the heat gun at this point so that the Fantasy Film warps a little and intensifies in colour. Then add another coat of ink and more Franklin Opals to make sure the Fantasy Film is covered before stamping the inked tree into the surface. What an impressive tree!

This turned out to be another one of those tricky cards to photograph with reflections from the glossy Franklin Opals making it difficult to see the tree stamped on the Opals so here's a photo of the tree before the card was assembled.The background of the card is copper mirror board embossed with the Cuttlebug. Mirror board is so shiny that it sometimes needs toning down and I did that by painting the whole surface with black acrylic paint and then wiping most of it away with a tissue before it dried. Too easy - looks like antiqued copper!
The letters are epoxy alphabet stickers attached to a deckle-edged strip of mirror board. Sitting on top of the embossed background, it looks like a piece of copper sheeting. The finishing touch is a couple of lengths of ribbon layered underneath the tree to help anchor it to the card.

Thank you to all of you who have followed me during this challenge. For those who have left comments and those who have emailed me privately, it has been lovely to have you along for the ride. I hope you've enjoyed my daily offerings - it has been fun (and challenging!) to make 12 different cards with the one stamp. Each one is so different and now I can't decide which is my favourite so I'll have to leave that for you to decide.

Don't forget that today's post is the last one to leave your comment on to register for the blog candy draw. I'll be taking a couple of days break from blogging and then I'll be back before Christmas to announce the winner. Until then..... good luck, and Merry Christmas to you all.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 11

Day 11 is here and the Pipers weren't able to make an appearance either so I've smooshed a la Tim Holtz again but this time I've swapped the bold red, black and gold for delicate blue, white and silver.

Now the photos just don't do this card justice - it was very tricky to photograph and I might try to get some better photos which I'll add later. In real life, the card has a real WOW factor and yet it's deceptively simple!

The base of the card is made of acetate and the front was run through the Cuttlebug and then I've painted the depressions of the pattern with white Pinata alcohol ink and Claro Extender - this is the hardest part of the card! Actually, it's not that hard really, just a little time consuming, but I think it's worth the effort. Unfortunately, the photo doesn't show the embossed texture, only the painted pattern. If you didn't want to try painting and embossing the acetate, you could try stamping an image with Opaque White StazOn to get a similar effect.

For the piece of smooshed card, I used Adirondack Stream, Espresso and Silver Mixative and then stamped the tree image in Brilliance Moonlight White, embossed with white embossing powder. I trimmed the card into a triangle shape and then cut away the pot from the tree. I've attached this piece to the front of the acetate and then attached a piece of silver shimmer paper behind the tree on the inside of the acetate. You need a space to write your message on the inside of the card so I've also attached a light blue triangle on the inside, lining it up with the front and then another piece on the outside back to hide the adhesive. A ribbon down the side adds a nice finishing touch. Such a simple card!

If you'd like to see more examples of my Painted Acetate technique, check out the latest issue of Cardmaking, Stamping and Papercraft (Vol 14 Issue 6) for some Valentine's samples.

And finally, if you'd like a chance to win the blog candy posted on Day 8, then leave a comment on this post or any of the other posts in my Twelve Days of Christmas series. I'll be announcing the winner before Christmas.

Until tomorrow.......

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 10

It's Day 10 of my Twelve Days of Christmas event but I was unable to book the "10 Lords a' Leaping" (it seems they are heavily booked at this time of the year!) so I hope you'll enjoy what I did with Tim Holtz' alcohol ink smooshing technique instead.

This technique is so easy and is really fun to do. You begin by drawing squiggles of your chosen alcohol ink colours on a non-stick craft sheet, sprinkle a little Blending Solution around, lay down a piece of gloss cardstock on top and then turn it 90 degrees. Lift and admire the beautiful and totally unpredictable patterns (no two will ever be the same!). Add some more blending solution and place another sheet of cardstock on the craft sheet and you'll have a second, lighter version of the first background - great way to coordinate your cardstock! I used Red Pepper, Pitch Black and Gold Mixative.

The Cuttlebug makes another appearance today - I just don't know how I ever managed without this nifty little machine before one found a home at my place! I've run a piece of gold gloss card through it with the Textile Texture embossing folder to frame the smooshed background.

And just to prove what I said yesterday about how I usually use gold webbing spray on black gloss, I thought I'd include a layer of that as well!

The label at the bottom is from Collections (as is the word vintage) but I didn't like the black label on the black background so I painted it with Lumiere Sunset Gold and added a piece of acetate behind it so that the word would pop out from the label.

And there you have it - Card number 10 with Magenta's My Christmas Tree / Mon Arbre. Tune in tomorrow to see what else I can come up with.....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 9

Day 9 of my Magenta challenge has arrived and brought with it a lovely soft, lilac colour scheme. And today I've used some of my all-time favourite colouring media - Lumiere paints, Krylon Gold Leafing Pen and webbing spray. I don't know what I'd do without my gold leafing pen - I use it to colour and highlight so many many things in my projects and I think it should be part of everyone's basic kit (as anyone who has been to one of my regular classes will attest!). But I'm rambling, so on to today's card.

To get this look, I began with a nappy liner that I painted with Grape Lumiere paint. Because it's so thin you really need scrap paper on your work surface to mop up what seeps through and even though the liner is quite wet, it will dry quickly because it's a nappy liner.

To add some interest, I stamped a few flourishes across the liner with gold Encore! ink which the photo hasn't picked up very well. But notice how the edge at the bottom is quite ragged? That's where I thought I could emboss the nappy liner with gold ep and a heatgun but instead it shrivelled up to escape the heat! Hmmm..... it seems some liners melt and some liners don't - this was definitely one of the melting variety! So instead, I inked the torn edge with a Krylon Gold Leafing Pen which still gave me the look I wanted.

I stamped the tree image on a sheet of lilac scrapbook paper from my collection which toned beautifully with the nappy liner and then filled the space on the right hand side with some random flourishes in gold which helped blend all the elements of the card together.
The letters on the nappy liner started out as clear epoxy alphabet stickers. These just happen to be the exact size of a Carl CP-1 circle punch so I punched out 3 circles from purple crackle paper and attached them to the back of the stickers. Then I layered those to Collections coreboard buttons which I'd already edged with a Krylon Gold Leafing Pen. The little angel is cast from Delight Paper clay and a Krafty Lady mould. I gave it a coat of gold Lumiere paint and then highlighted it with my trusty Krylon gold leafing pen.
I used shim and a Krafty Lady stamp to create the little banner at the bottom. Firstly, I stamped the image and cut it out and then I traced the detail with a metal stylus and I used a wooden puffer tool from both the front and the back to create some dimension in it. The word is from Collections.

And the final touch today is the webbing spray which you can just see in the photo. I normally use black gloss card and gold webbing spray, but today I went for black webbing and gold gloss card because it works better with the soft lilac colours.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 8

Today is Day 8 of the Challenge and it brings yet another new look.

Using the same Basic Grey collection of papers and rubons, Ive created a swing card which works really well with a Christmas tree stamp. There is quite a bit of detail on this card so I've included a few extra photos for you to feast on.

Frosted Christmas Tree

I started by stamping the image with Brilliance Moonlight White which I was planning to emboss but I wasn't quick enough and very little of the EP stuck so I touched it up with my trusty Uniball Signo White pen. The heart border around the tree comes in a roll and luckily, it's self adhesive so no glue is required - you just peel away the backing and place it where you want it. Great product!I've added a lacey white border rub-on down the spine of the card (this one is called Swirling Samba from Imaginisce) and attached a triangle of triangles cut from the Basic Grey paper.I also stamped the tree on the triangle paper and traced over it with Liquid Applique and Prisma Glitter before heating it with the heat gun to puff it up. The holly berries spelling joy are Collections chipboard buttons dipped in Waratah Opals stamped with an alphabet stamp and Encore Gold ink. It takes a really long time for Encore to dry on Opals and you have to be careful not to smear it. Brilliance Graphite Gold dries faster but I prefer the colour of Encore Gold and so I just take care not to touch it. I Cuttlebugged the back flap of the card and swiped the embossed circles with Brilliance Moonlight White ink. And finally, I added a few red crystals for a bit of bling!

Now here's a reward for making it to the bottom of this post. I'm having a blog candy give away and one lucky reader will win the bangle in the pic below. It's a handmade resin bangle I've made using a Krafy Lady bangle mould. To be in the running, all you need to do is leave a comment on any of the posts in my Twelve Days of Christmas series - the more posts you comment on, the more chances you have of winning. I'll pick the winner randomly and will announce it on my blog on my first post after the Twelve Days are finished. And, you don't have to be in Australia to win this... I will post overseas. So don't forget to check back to see if you're the winner (or leave your contact details so that I can contact you) - you'll have 3 days after I post the winner's name to claim your prize otherwise I'll do a redraw. Until tomorrow........

Monday, December 15, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 7

Welcome to the second half of my card journey towards Christmas! This is card number 7 using Magenta's My Christmas Tree / Mon Arbre.

Yesterday I finally managed to make a card using more traditional Christmas colours and today I'm following that trend.

I began this one by painting an old book page with Lumiere Metallic Gold paint and then stamped the tree image with black StazOn ink. The gold is much more.... hmmm, shall we say, gold than the photo shows and it needed to be toned down a bit. So I tore a rectangle of star-printed vellum in half diagonally and attached it with brads. That took away the large expanse of bright gold and gave me a nice background to start working with. I also stamped some of the individual words from the tree image along the vellum edges.

Here's a couple of little tips:
  • Use sticky tape to mask off the unwanted words, ink up the word you want, then remove the tape and stamp away.
  • If your image is rubber then place it on your work surface, rubber facing up, so you'll be able to see it through the vellum. Place the vellum over the top and walk your fingers across the inked part of the image. It worked a treat on the vellum and my words are all straight!
I had just bought some Basic Grey papers and matching rub-ons this week and they were perfect for toning down that bright gold. I added a few of the red stars to the gold star vellum, and a couple of snowflakes and a gift package to the painted book page.

Along the side of the card I added a length of ribbon (Kaszazz) which is looped over and over to create a bow and then topped that with an epoxy sticker, also from Basic Grey - a nice finishing touch!

The holly leaf background paper looks a little grey in the photo but it's actually more like sage than grey and although the images are quite modern, the card has a somewhat vintage feel about it. Vintage or not, I'm still calling this traditional red, green and gold!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 6

Day 6 and we've reached the halfway mark. So I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the cards I've made so far:

But of course, you're here to see today's card! You've already seen a sneak peak of it at the top of this post and if you guessed it's called Reflections, then you'd be right! This name couldn't have been more apt as I had all sorts of difficulties photographing it because of the reflections off the acetate. But anyway, here it is:

I used the Cuttlebug and holly embossing folder to create the background for this one. To get the beautiful shimmery colour on the leaves (which the camera hasn't picked up), I swiped them with a Versamark Watermark inkpad and then dusted on Polished Pigments. There are other mica powders you could use (Pearl Ex, Perfect Pearls, etc) - I just happened to have a couple of nice greens in the Polished Pigments so I used those. I stamped Mon Arbre with black StazOn ink and traced over the image with Uniball Signo white pen.

In the two top corners, I punched some small holes through the 2 layers and pushed some knotted raffia through and then secured the ends to the back with tape. I didn't want to do the same thing on the other two bottom corners so to keep the acetate in place, I wrapped a length of crochet cotton around the bottom and sides. It ties in well with the raffia.

I've run a small piece of gold mirror card through the Cuttlebug and then used an emery board to distress it just a little. You can see that better in the detail photo at the top of the post. The word reflections is from Collections and the scrapbook paper is from Kaszazz.

This is the closest I've come to traditional Christmas colours so far and although they're very muted, I quite like the effect. A subtle tartan or plaid paper would have worked quite well in place of the Kaszazz paper too and that brings to mind a Christmas song, Christmas in Killarney, from my all-time favourite Christmas Album: Bing Cosby's White Christmas. I have that CD playing in the background as I write this - I can assure you there's no better way to get into the Christmas mood than playing some Christmas music.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 5

Today is Day 5 of my Twelve Days of Christmas event (aka twelve ways to use one stamp challenge) and the card today is called O Tannenbaum. The scan doesn't do this one justice so a description is in order.

Looking at the photo, you might think that I've magically stamped the image on top of glitter but I can assure you that I haven't found a way to stamp directly onto glitter that leaves such a strong impression. Besides, stamping on glitter is messy and leaves glitter sparkles all over your rubber. But what I did do is stamp the image with black StazOn ink on acetate which has been wrapped around the card and attached invisibly underneath the silver ribbon on the side.

So that the image popped, I used very fine Prisma glitter and 2-way glue to create a tree directly onto the card stock underneath the acetate but you could cut the tree out of Jac Paper and sprinkle it with glitter and then apply that to the card as an alternative.

I added a few snowflakes to the acetate - some are vellum stickers, some are punched from jac paper sprinkled with glitter and the others are punched from shim. I also used shim for the label at the bottom of the tree (I just love that stuff!).

When the card is standing, the acetate layer sits away from the card front and looks really cool with its silver peel-off border, the stamped image and the scattered snowflakes - they look like they're just floating in mid air!

Christmas in my part of the world is hot (and humid) but that doesn't stop me from Dreaming of a White Christmas. And one day, I'm hoping to actually experience one. But in the meantime I will have to rely on snowy Christmas scenes and wintery Christmas Carols to get my fill.....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 4

Day 4 of my Twelve Days of Christmas event brings a totally different look. This card is entitled Patchwork Christmas Tree and it has more of a shabby chic feel about it.

I've used up some offcuts to make this card - the lolly pink, pastel green and cream cardstock are all relics from my very early stamping days but they coordinate really well with some more recent purchases like the scrapbook paper from Scrapbooking Australia (Berry Cherry Christmas collection) and the Prima flowers. It's fun to be able to combine old stuff with new.... it gives it a totally new look!

Here's a few things I learned along the way with this one:
  • Use a stamp positioner to place the image in exactly the same place on each card
  • Place the 3 pieces of cardstock in a stack so that the cut deckle-edges will all be aligned perfectly
  • Make sure the stack doesn't skew as you cut it
  • Once you reassemble the 3 different colours into one piece, tape them together on the back and then cut it into a tree shape.
I sponged the edges of the tree with crimson ink and that softened the starkness of the coloured cardstock - it also helped to tie the elements of the card together. The stripes on the gold cardstock are lengths of pink satin ribbon attached with double sided tape and I added a few rhinestones to the flowers for some bling.

When I look at this card, I keep thinking of the line "while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads" from the poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. It must be the cherries from the scrapbook paper, or maybe it's the softer colours or the pink strips - I'm not sure but it keeps reminding me of that poem..... what do you think?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 3

Well, day 3 of my challenge has arrived and there are no French Hens in sight. Instead my offering today is a magenta coloured card, stamped with a Magenta image and trimmed with Magenta flower peel offs - so at least it has 3 of something.

I began this one by painting a piece of silver metal shim with Burgundy, Crimson and Pearlescent Magenta Lumiere paints making sure I blended the edges really well and when it was dry, I stamped the image (41.007.N) with Jet Black StazOn ink. You don't have to use shim for this card - a piece of smooth white card stock would work equally as well - I just happened to have shim handy on my desk!

I created the tree outline with gold embroidery floss which is tucked around the back of the shim and taped in place.

The purple background on this card is silk paper. It's called paper, but it's more like fabric. Silk paper is really tough, almost impossible to tear, and yet it looks quite delicate when you hold it up to the light. This one is printed with a gold flourish pattern and with its depth of colour it really makes the magenta layer pop. I layered it to a gold card front and added some little flower peel offs and then topped the tree with a star cut out from gold metal shim and a clear crystal.

Magenta and purple are not usually associated with Christmas but with a touch of gold added to them they are rich and opulent. I imagine them as the colours of the robes worn by the Maggi who followed the star to find baby Jesus in the manger. Purple is the colour of royalty, riches and wealth. So maybe these colours are more traditional that I first thought.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 2

It's the second day of my Twelve Days of Christmas period and sadly, I have no Turtle Doves to offer. But instead, I have this card which I've called Joy, Joy, Joy.

Once again it features Magenta's My Christmas Tree / Mon Arbre and it is again using turqouise and copper. But this time, I've also added white and silver.

The image is stamped onto silver metal shim. You could use a silver pie plate or a Milo tin seal for this technique and it would look equally as good. After tracing the stamped image with a metal stylus, I painted the shim with 2 very light coats of Pearlescent Turquoise Lumiere paint, leaving the silver of the tree to show through. That really helps to draw your eye to the main image.

The hanging stars are cut from copper-coloured shim which I've stamped with a metal alphabet set and they're attached with copper embroidery floss to the silver lurex ribbon running up the side of the card. I attached Christmas wrapping paper to the card front and the layer in the middle is once again Cuttlebugged copper mirror board.

And finally, I added a few brown crystals to the tree to tie it all together.

Check back tomorrow to see what I come up with for Day 3.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Don't you love that Christmas Carol? You know the one, The Twelve Days of Christmas! I never really understood what the meaning behind it was until recently.

The 12 days of Christmas is actually the period beginning on the eve of Christmas Day and ending on the morning of Epiphany (the 6th January). So I thought I'd share with you a card a day (or thereabouts) for twelve days in the lead up to Christmas. After all, it's not very sensible sharing them with you on the 12 days after Christmas!

These cards are all made with Magenta's "My Christmas Tree / Mon Arbre" (41.007.N) so this will also be "Twelve ways to use one stamp"! Magenta stamps are now being distributed in Australia by Craft-A-Lot.

And here's the first one - Turquoise and Copper Tree.

The background is painted with Radiant Pearls and stamped with StazOn Jet Black ink. I traced over the stamped image with a white Signo Uni Ball pen and added some brown crystals to the tree tips. The background is Cuttlebugged copper mirror board which was layered on Doodlebug card. The colour is Swimming Pool....... hmmm love that name - so apt for Christmas in Australia!

Until next post......