Thursday, 27 February 2014

Taglines ....

Hello fellow crafty people, I hope you are having a good week.

Thought I would share with you a couple of tags I've been working on.  I've used a 3mm MDF shape I drew and lasered out, and did another of my tissue paper collage thingies.  I've always painted my MDF shapes but I am loving this technique and producing these backgrounds.  On this one I've used Claritystamp's lesson 19 classroom set - I think it was called Leafy Swirl and a Claritystamp verse which I embossed in black powder - another thing I'm really into!

I've used Claritystamp bird cage & flourishes set here.  I love this stamp set and  I really should use it more.

Next I need to make the cards to attach these too.  I'm going to break out my gelli plate which has been languishing a dark corner of the craft cave six months, but this weekend I am going to dust it off and finally have a go!  I shall report back with my efforts ... if they are any good of course.

Happy crafting! x

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Bearing all ...


Hello there crafty folk, 
What is this you may ask ... actually completing two blogs consecutively? Well it has been half-term this week so I have had a wee bit more time on my hands than usual.  This week I have got out my trusty sewing machine and I have made another bear for a friend who recently had a baby (I'm a bit late as it was over a month ago but I'm sure she won't mind as she is fellow teacher too!).  

Meet Blue Bear for baby Ely.  I used one of Mandy Shaw's super patterns from her Quilt Yourself Gorgeous book.  Her instructions are a bit quirky (as she puts it herself) but once you get your head around it they are simple to follow.

I use a blue fleece and various shades of blue felt that I had in my sewing stash.  I embroidered the eyes rather than her suggested buttons as I thought they would be safer for a baby and I am a bit of button phob (I know ridiculous but true!).

On the last one I made, I embroidered the leg with baby's name but on blue bear, I embroidered a tag (I always was a huge fan of Paddington Bear), which I attached to a blue ribbon.  I've sewn it in place so it is nice and secure.  Well that's all for today.  I do hope you like my bears,Happy Crafting! x

He's a jolly bear even if his ears are a bit big!
Below are some pictures of Pink Bear that I made for a little girl last summer.

Is it a mouse or a bear ... I really need to sort out those ears!

Friday, 21 February 2014

Clarity Stamp Challenge 12 .... Love & Romance


I decided that this month I would finally enter the Clarity Stamp Challenge and here is my entry.  The theme was Love and Romance and as my Clarity stash is quite limited still it was quite a challenge to come up with something!

I used an MDF heart I made on the laser cutter (I'm lucky enough to access one at school).  I then decoupaged it with white tissue paper and watered down PVA.  I overlayed this with pale pink and pink lace design tissue papers, with more white over some areas to tone the pink down. When doing this, you have to be careful not to get too much PVA onto the surface otherwise it will repel the ink. I used a paint brush end to poke through the hole while it was still wet. I dried this all off with a heat gun (mainly because I'm too impatient to wait for it dry naturally!).  I then blended some distress inks over the surface - I think I used warm lipstick and spiced marmalade, and butterscotch adirondack. When the tissue paper was completely dry, I sanded off all the edges around the heart.

Next, I used October's Clarity New Design Club Rose stamp (No 84).  Stamped it over the surface of the heart using versamark and embossed it in white.  (Remember to liberally apply talc over the surface first to remove any moisture that the embossing powder might cling to!).

Now for the tricky part.  Now from my experience, I am hopeless at stamping sentiments or verses accurately. They usually look if like I've been at the cooking sherry so when doing this one I had a moment of inspiration ... why not stamp onto white tissue paper and then carefully decoupage onto surface?!  It doesn't matter if it goes tragically wrong because I can just bin it.  I stamped the verse in versamark and then embossed it black embossing powder.  So far so good!  I then carefully tore round the edges so it looked nice and lay it down where I wanted it to go.  Then I carefully applied some watered down PVA to the surface.  Be really careful here not to press down too hard as it can wrinkle and tear.  I lost a bit of the 'r' in forever, but hey ho the rest of it was pretty good and because the white becomes translucent, you can hardly see the paper at all.

Now I am waffling on here, so I'd better get a move on. I stamped two each of the large and small Clarity Stamp Gerbera flowers onto Clarity theuva card using black archival and embossed them using black embossing powder.  I chose the gerbera flowers and coloured them in oranges because that is what I had in wedding bouquet ... see romantic! I inked the flowers using cut and dry foam in butterscotch and spiced marmalade.  I then used promarkers in reds, yellows and oranges to get the different tones.  I cut the outer petals off the two extra ones and glued them on top of the other ones using silicon glue.  I then glued them to the heart.

A little bit of peach ribbon to hang it up with and it is finished.  Hope you like it. It's a bit late to give to my husband for valentine's day but I'm sure he will love it anyway!

Have a great crafting week.
Ela x

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Fleather note-books

Hello again, another weekend nearly finished and I thought that today I would share my attempt at faux leather, inspired by Sheena Douglass.   

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I used brown kraft card (available from Crafter's Companion) which I sprayed liberally with a mixture of glycerin (available from your chemist) and water until I was able scrunch the card up.  I did this a couple of times, each time massaging the glycerin mixture into the paper fibres.  I then embossed the card using my Grand Caliber and a Sheena Douglass embossing folder.  I can't remember what their particular names are but you can get them from Crafter's Companion too.  I love her embossing folders and I have been having a good experiment this week on all the different things you can create with them.

Anyway I digress.  Wait for the card to dry.  I hung them over a rack in craft room overnight (it's pretty cold up here so it would probably dry quicker if I bought them downstairs!).  Now the fun bit. Using distress inks and a blending tool, I distressed the card.  On the brown one, I used Ranger's vintage photo and adirondack's expresso.  The green one, I used adirondack pesto and lettuce (I'm note sure if this had any effect though as I started with pesto first) and finished off with a bit of vintage photo. You can use any colour you want.  I am going to experiment with reds and blacks next.

Now how to get that shiny leather look and to give your notebook a bit of durability. Spray some Crafter's Companion Spray and Shine.  Once you've sprayed it, rub it in a bit because you don't want it to be glossy shiny.

Ok, now you are ready to line your book with fabric.  

Choose a fabric that has a fairly small print. Cut your fabric so it is oversized.  Sheena suggested using a tacky glue.  I used Pinflair book binding glue which I applied in stages and used a credit card to smooth out any creases or air bubbles.  Then use a guillotine to trim.  As I haven't got one (my next crafty purchase I think?!), I used scissors but it wasn't ideal.  Another investment would be a corner cutter.  Mine are not very accurate but I was very excited to get on.  I should have marked them out first but went at it a bit gun ho!

On how to do the paper inserts, I suggest you have look at Sheena's YouTube tutorial.  She will explain it far better than me.  Here is a link -  You definitely need a guillotine here too.  My rotary cutter is OK for single sheets but anything more, it just can't cope.  I think the paper I used was a little too heavy.  Sheena suggests cartridge paper.  If you are making a special notebook, you could look for some really nice, even handmade papers.

The only thing I did differently was glue a piece of ribbon down the centre (about halfway down the spine) and then sewed the signatures through that as well.  When I get chance I shall get some metal charms and attach them to the bottom of the piece of ribbon.  Next I'm going to try something a bit bigger.  Sheena made a cover for her tablet. I'm thinking of using it to cover one of my jewellery boxes.  I am definitely going to make more notebooks though. I think they will make cool gifts for people.  Well done Sheena for another fab idea!

Well better finish here.  Need to tidy up a bit - it's like a bomb has hit!  Have a good crafty week.