Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Guest Blog post over at Chocolate Baroque!!

A while back I answered a Design Team call for Chocolate Baroque. Although I did not get it, I was asked to create something using their stamps for a guest post. I was so excited!

At the time, though I had been a constant admirer of their lovely designs, I had yet to make any purchases. So I felt that this was a definite good time to finally add some Chocolate Baroque to my growing stamp collection, and I was not disappointed! Here are a few pictures of my final product, but I hope you will head over to their blog here to see my post which has come out today!

Thanks for checking it out and don't forget to head over to their page with the link below to have a look and some of their amazing goodies!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Xbox controller card

So today my eldest daughter has been invited to a birthday party. Now, I have a stack of cards piled up in a box from when my crafty mojo gets going but unfortunately, I rarely have inspiration to make a mans card or a little boys for that matter. Luckily this time around I had called his mum and asked her what he liked so I could buy an appropriate present for him. In the end money is tight this month so we have had to cut back in certain areas of our spending so I felt I really needed to go all out on this little mans card, and seeing as he liked Xbox so much, why not a controller?

I know you have probably seen these types of cards all over the place but I really wanted to give it a little more than just 'cut out circles. stick down. done.'. So for this card I used the following:

  • Dylusions sprays from Ranger
    • Lemon zest
    • London Blue
    • Postbox Red
    • Fresh Lime
  • Distress Inks and markers
    • Black Soot
    • Pumice stone
    • Crushed Olive
    • Mustard Seed
  • Water brush
  • White gel pen -my favourite is Uniball signo Broad white gel pen
  • Black cardstock for the base
  • white cardstock for the buttons
  • Glossy accents
  • white embossing powder - stampendous white
  • Heat gun
  • foam adhesive

First off, I did a search for an Xbox controller template and found the perfect one from here. On the plus side, if you have a cutting machine, it also has a cut file as well as a digi stamp! Lucky us huh? I wanted a card around a 5x7 size so I printed my controller on regular copy paper to use for my template. I do have a cutting machine but sadly its been a while since I properly tidied my craft area and they need to be dug out before I can use them. So I did it the old fashioned way and traced and cut around all of the pieces, however if you have a cutting machine, feel free to use it here!
I folded my black card in half (a scoreboard comes in handy here if you have one) laid my template against the score line with the card folded in half and marked the bottom of the controller. I used my ruler to draw a straight line across so that when I lined up my template, it would be even and sit properly on a table. I stuck it down temporarily and cut around it to finish off the base of my card.

Instead of cutting out all the circles and tracing them onto my white cardstock I printed the whole thing out again and just cut them directly from the card.

Once I had all of my pieces ready, I pulled up a picture of an Xbox controller on Google and went to work copying the buttons. I knew I wanted my colours to be bright because if you have ever seen one of these controllers, the buttons glow. I really wanted to retain that quality when I coloured them so I started by spraying each of the letter buttons with my dylusions sprays. I let these soak in a little before hitting them with the heat gun to speed up drying time. To draw the letters I used my white gel pen which I knew would mix with the ink and lighten it up in areas. To darken other areas I used mustard seed for yellow, and crushed olive for green. The red and blue were dark enough so I just 'pulled' the colour out of them in areas with water. To do this you just paint plain water on where you want it and dab it off with a towel. I used this technique on the logo button as well.

For the grey buttons I did the same basic concept, except that I used a blending tool with pumice stone, white gel pen for the highlights and pumice stone marker and a dry water brush (this gives a more concentrated colour) for the shading. I also used the blending tool and black soot for the small black buttons but concentrated the colour on one side to give it a highlight. I stuck all of these buttons down with either foam adhesive or glossy accents.

So far it was looking great but still a bit flat for my taste. To give the controller itself a little bit more dimension, I used my white gel pen around the joysticks as highlights and added glossy accents to some of the buttons. Beware though. I made the mistake of going over my coloured buttons with the glossy accents and unfortunately for me, it blended all of my shading and colours so they no longer had the detail that I wanted for them. Oh well. Live and Learn!

Once my glues were dry enough to handle, I began work on the inside of the card. We decided instead of buying a present, to just give him a little cash. You know how it is, though, when kids are riping through cards and money is flying and sometimes gets lost? No? Is that just me? Anyway, I thought it would be nice for the card to have a little pocket specifically for holding a folded up bill. I used leftover black card to make the pocket which I glued the edges with glossy accents. I kept this in place with wooden clothes pins until it was set. I then stamped a happy birthday sentiment and embossed it with white embossing powder.

So here is the finished card. Not my usual thing but I really liked it. Besides all of the intricate shading work I did, it was a fairly quick and easy card to make. I may just have to do a few of these just to have on hand!

I hope my little girl has a great time at this party and that the birthday boy loves the card! I know he wont appreciate the work that has gone into it but that's not really what its about is it? I had fun making it and I hope you will all give it a go!


Happy Crafting!!


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Better late than never Film Elements Box card

Do you ever find that life gets in the way of... well, life? That's how things have been feeling like for the moment for me. Except my mental library is one big jumbled mess and I just cant get all of my books in the right section. I wrote this blog post for last weeks design team post for JB Crafting Supplies but failed to share it with anyone who follows me. I am quite proud of my work this time and I had fun with it so its only fair that I share it with you.

If you have been following the blog (or me in general) you might remember that last month I received a lovely stamp by Stampendous called Film Elements which I had a rather difficult time working with. Again, I say this was because I am much better at taking multiple stamps and putting them together rather than have a stamp that is already a collage. So what did I do? I cut them apart!

While they were very small stamps images individually, the lines were not too fussy and it was easy enough to do. These pop up box cards have been making the rounds lately and I thought now would be a great time to try one! I wont add instructions on how to make one here because I winged it but if you do a google search for 'Pop up box card' you will find many tutorials.

I used black card stock for my base, and white card stock for the panels. I used my dylusions to spray the top panels randomly, and then stamped and heat embossed with white a harlequin stamp from the Decorative Edges stamp set from Chocolate Baroque. I stamped the same pattern on the bottom white panels in black and white to tie them together. When making these boxes you want to separate and pop out your elements so instead of just using a plain piece of acetate, I stamped and embossed with my Hero arts flourish stamp which I then cut out and glued into place. This gave me a space to place certain elements in the background while still looking like it all belonged together. From there I just stuck all the rest of my elements down fairly similar to the way they originally came on the stamp. A few of the pieces I stuck to acetate and a few I stuck straight into the card. As you can see on the left, the card just folds flat, ready for an envelope. When flat I do feel that it is missing something such as a sentiment but I have yet to figure out what I will place there. Suggestions always welcome!!

Im very happy with the final result and I hope you agree. I do think I will be making a few more of these fun box cards in the future!

Happy crafting to you all!