Monday, February 27

A Spot of Colour

Last night my fingers were just itching to get hold of my markers, as they often do when I've been working on other things. To satisfy my itch to colour, I stamped up several of the freesia images and spent some time bringing them to life. It actually took me a lot longer to cut them all out than it did to colour, but the effort was worth it... it looks like a little garden has bloomed on my desk.


Sunday, February 26

New Release: Simple Freesias

Freesias are beautiful flowers that come in a wonderful range of colours, making them ideal for card makers who like to personalise their creations. This set contains two flower images - one is a small cluster of blooms and the other is two fully laden stalks - along with seven sentiment stamps that will have you covered for almost any occasion.

Simply Freesias

Now, it wouldn't be a new release without some gorgeous inspiration from my designers, and they have certainly risen to the challenge with these beauties...

Petra created these two beautiful cards in tones of gold and bronze. The freesias in the top image have been heat embossed with white embossing powder and then coloured with rich earth tones for a spectacular result. The second card has a wonderful negative panel where the flowers aren't coloured at all. On either side of the panel, Petra has used the no-line technique with gorgeous golden hues.

The three cards below were also completed by Petra, who has used neutral tones to great effect. It just goes to show that you don't always need to bring out coloured pencils and makers to achieve stunning results.
_______________________________________________________

Carla's gorgeous cards bring springtime gardens to mind, filled with perfumed flowers and pretty little butterflies. She has stamped and coloured the images in purple, then layered them over beautiful die cut and embossed panels for extra depth and interest. The yellow butterflies work as a lovely contrast to the purple shades in the flowers.
_______________________________________________________

Anesha has used the larger stamp and the birthday greeting to create her fabulous card. She has coloured the flowers in shades of yellow with a deep orange throat. The darker colour adds depth to the image and creates the illusion of shadow.

Friday, February 24

Mixed Media Canvas

Every now and then I get in the mood to make a mess! By the end of this mixed media canvas I had dried glue stuck to my desk, wads of masking tape on the floor, green fingers and a scattering of tiny flowers over just about everything. Despite the mess, I quite enjoy the process of creating these canvases. You don't have to worry too much about being precise, a slip, slop, slap approach is perfectly acceptable... although I can't guarantee the outcome!

GATHER ALL THE BITS AND PIECES

PREPARE THE CANVAS WITH LOTS OF TEXTURE

ADD MORE TEXTURE WITH CHIPBOARD, FLOWERS, METAL, ETC.

WHEN THE GLUE IS DRY, COVER EVERYTHING WITH A COAT OF GESSO

GO CRAZY WITH SPRITZES, SPRAYS AND PAINTS - MY FAVOURITE PART

BRING IT ALL TOGETHER AGAIN WITH A TOP COAT OF GESSO

ADD SOME SPOTS OF LIQUID PEARLS, A TOUCH OF GOLD PAINT, ETC.

Thursday, February 23

Behind the Scenes...

Those of you on Instagram may have seen this image when I posted it a few days ago. It's a very early sketch that will eventually become a set of stamps. The first stage is the concept, which is often the most difficult part, then a few rough sketches until I'm happy with how everything looks. Next comes the digitised line drawing followed by colour and appropriate sentiments. The final stage is organising everything into a set. You can start looking for this one around July.


Tuesday, February 21

Best of Luck

I've really enjoyed colouring these little clover leaves, it makes a nice change from flowers and gives the green markers a good workout too. I've made one card for luck and one for good old mischievousness!



Sunday, February 19

New Release: Irish Blessings

The new Irish Blessings set is all about luck and the occasional shenanigans! Perfect for St. Patrick's Day greetings, good luck cards, or just to let someone know you're thinking of them and hoping for the best.

Irish Blessings

My designers have created a fabulous range of cards and projects using the new set. Please remember to visit their blogs for more inspiration and ideas as well as links to their other social media platforms. There's lots to see!

Anesha created this fabulous wall hanging.

Karin's blue and green themed card.

Judy used the horseshoes to make a good luck card. 

AJ created these two cards with watercolour backgrounds. 

Carla added fabulous four leaf clovers to her card.

Check out the fabulous background paper on Petra's card.

Petra also created this gorgeous card featuring lots of stitching.

Friday, February 17

Mission: Possible

For the past 16 years I've been a member of a lovely craft group in my town, which you might have heard me mention before. We make and sell hand crafts at our much-loved little cottage in the centre of town, but we also go on outings, have lessons, attend craft fairs and generally misbehave... errr, I mean have fun in a responsible manner.

One of the things we try to do regularly is crafting for a cause, which is basically making useful things for people in need. We're fortunate to have a truly amazing, and fully volunteer-run, service called "Mission Possible" close by, who coordinate, gather and distribute crafts to local nursing homes, charities, hospitals, health centres and children's organisations, and they always have requests coming in for everything from tactile mats to IV bag holders. Our craft group started sewing, knitting and constructing items for them last year and I wanted to share our latest projects with you.

These drawstring bags are for folks who need to make a quick, unplanned trip to the hospital. They'll be filled with toiletries, underwear and little essentials to make their stay a bit more comfortable.

I call these "hospital dolls", although I'm sure they have a better name. They are simple, human shaped dolls that doctors use when explaining medical procedures to children. The doctor draws on the doll with marker to show the child what will be happening, and then the child gets to keep it.

Here's a link to the Mission Possible Facebook page for anyone who is interested:

And a link to the Craft Cottage Facebook page:

Wednesday, February 15

Smooth Seas Cards

I think I've decided on my favourite stamp from the new "Smooth Seas" set... can you guess what it is? I have a feeling I'll be inking this guy up on a regular basis, he's fun to colour and pretty easy to layer.

I used a masking technique to get two seahorses swimming side by side.

White pencil on "pool" coloured card stock. I even stamped in the same shade.

The "bubbles" are drops of glossy accents.

Monday, February 13

Tutorial: Waterfall Cards

Looking to add a bit of pizzazz to your next card-making project? Well, look no further! This card has the wow-factor, is interactive and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to put it together. Now that's my kind of card!



1. Gather together the supplies for your card. You'll need:
  • a card blank measuring 41/4" x 6"
  • one 2" x 9" piece of cardstock
  • four 2" squares, stamped and coloured
  • four 21/4" squares of coloured card or paper to mat the stamped images
  • two pieces of patterned paper - 4" x 53/4" and 4" x 11/4"
  • piece of ribbon or string for pull tag
  • an eyelet, staple or other way to secure the ribbon
  • adhesives and cutting tools 


2. Place the 2" x 9" strip of card stock horizontally on your score board and score at 2", 21/2", 3" and 31/2". Fold along each score line. 


3. If you're adding an eyelet to your pull tag, do it now. It is placed on the bottom of the strip of card stock you just scored, furthest away from the folds. 


4. Use glue or double sided tape to adhere the 4" x 53/4" piece of patterned paper to the front of your card blank. You should end up with a small border all around the card. 


5. Place a strip of double sided tape or a thin line of glue on either end of the 4" x 11/4" strip of patterned paper, making sure none of it is applied to the centre. Adhere it across the card front, 2" from the bottom of the card blank.


6. Slide the strip of card stock under the strip of patterned paper so that the folded score lines are at the top and the eyelet (if added) is at the bottom. 


7. Apply some glue or double sided tape to the centre of the strip of patterned paper. The adhesive should be no wider than the strip of card stock. 


8. Secure the strip of card stock to the strip of patterned paper. Be sure to line up the edges and make sure everything is centred before you secure it permanently. This strip is the basis for the interactive component of the card. (note: the strip of card stock should be able to slide up and down behind the patterned paper when pulled by the eyelet end)


9. If desired, stamp a sentiment on the bottom of the strip of card stock. 


10. Now it's time to add the images to your card. Begin with the bottom image, which is the one that will appear last when the card is activated. Apply glue to the first section of the strip of card stock, between the end and the first score line. The hash lines, in the photo below, indicate the area where adhesive should be applied. 


11. Secure the first image onto the adhesive, keeping the top of the mat just below the first score line and centring the image over the strip of card stock. 


12. Now apply adhesive in the next section, between the first and second score line, and add the second stamped image. 


13. Apply adhesive to the area between the second and third score line and attach the third image. 


14. Apply adhesive to the area between the third and fourth score lines and secure the fourth image, which will be the top image on your card. Be careful not to secure the last image too high on the card stock or the strip won't move. You should be able to see the last score line easily.


15. Attach the string through the eyelet (or the ribbon with a staple, etc.) and you're done!


Now you can gently pull on the string and watch the images flip by!



Photographs and written instructions are copyright Beccy Muir
All rights reserved.