Sunday, 10 June 2018

Hobby Craft Challenge- Ten Cards from One Collection

A lot of people talk to me about cards for the men in their lives and I agree - if it wasn't for steampunk, there would not be too much for the guys.

So what to do about it!? Well I think that this collection from Hobby Craft in the UK is a great answer. So with that in mind, in collaboration with Hobby Craft, I set about using one collection to create ten cards. 

They could be given to anyone of course but the main part of the brief was to come up with a collection for men and boys.

Here we go!

The first of my makes is a square on a kraft blank. I layered simply with black card and the papers from the kit including a banner down the middle and some embellishments. I loved the puffy stickers.

Number two is another square 6" kraft blank and this time I stitched the paper down. There are some super cute hexie frames in the collection too and one made a perfect frame for a die cut. The bow is made with some twine wrapped around my first two fingers and the tied in the middle. it stays put beautifully and it can be glued anywhere.

Next had to have the bear stamp! I coloured the stamp with some Tim Holtz Distress markers and then glossed the fussy cut image with ranger Glossy Accents. My favourite thing on this card (apart from the delicious washi tape) are the cute wooden arrows which make for great dimension.

No camping trip is complete without critter spotting! I cut a stag head with a Christmas die (not in the collection but it really matches well and is a good lesson about looking at what you have to go with new stuff). you can see another string bow and more washi tape. The little crystals are great too and add a bit of sparkle.

I wanted to make some cards which were really simple and very quick. this is one of those! Simple use a piece of the paper and some die cut letters in black. The puffy stickers yielded a woolly hat and another arrow. And of course some twine wraps and a bow.
when you do this, wrap the twine first and the make the bow separately and use the tails of the twine wrap to tie the bow on. a dob of glue keeps it all in place.

Right! From one extreme to the other here! The last one was simple and this one is anything but. I used grey card stock for the background and made a little tent from some yellow paper. a puffy sticker made the camp fire and then I dived into the Christmas dies to find one which was perfect for the trees. my favourite way to frame a card is with sewing machine stitching. As you can see, it really sets it off nicely.

Simple again for hurried card needs. This one used washi tape and twine wrap and then a simple message in black die cut. I love this font which is a Sizzix one and designed by Tim Holtz. It is called cutout lower. I used some glittery copper washi tape which is not in the collection and a wooden arrow. Some copper coloured diamantes add interest.

I really would not be me if I didn't ink something! This time it is a piece of white card inked with some Ranger Distress Inks so that I could frame it with a wooden hexie and die cut a little lantern.
I made the words from my Sizzix font and I used some card onto which I had painted with acrylic paint using my Gelli plate. If you like that, I have a tute here. It is really easy and effective and the scrappy bits can be used for die cutting.

Back to a bit more complicated again! Another tent and you can really freehand this without a die. I laminated two pieces of paper together and then cut a triangle. cut about 2/3 of the way up from the middle bottom and then fold the flaps back. I cut some thin strips for the poles which you can just see at the top. a puffy sticker made the sign on the tent.
And then LOTS of trees from a Christmas die set. The stars this time are from a Sizzix Halloween Witch die set - here again, never assume that you have to stick to using things in sets. If something has a component that you need, use it!

Lucky last and actually one of my favourites! I made this one because a camp fire is really important and it must have sparks coming up from it! I free handed the flames and then inked them. the logs are some more gelli printed scraps (seriously do check that tute and give it a go. It gives you the best components for your projects and you can bulk make and then have them on hand).

Well that's it! I do hope that you have enjoyed them and that you are a bit inspired. These would be great for Father's Day and you still have time....

Thank you for stopping by! See you next time.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Template Free Tie Dyed Peace Purse - And a Giveaway!

Flower Power!
Hello everyone! I hope that you are enjoying your crafting wherever you and and thank you for joining me once again. 

This one is perfect for offcuts!
I am getting a bit addicted to making pouches and zipper purses and I thought that just in case you are too, you might like to have a pattern for a very handy little purse - it could be a pouch if it were bigger so it is up to you what you call it.

I love this easier method of putting the zip in and I think that you will too!
Loving the tie dye trend about at the moment and with that vibe in mind, I thought that I would add a gold embellishment with a die cut peace symbol.

The star of the show.
But of course, me, being me, I have yet another bee in my bonnet and that is that I wondered if we need printable templates for everything? The answer is of course, not! I hear so many horror stories about printing them off and getting them right. We can make our own really easily and have little bother with worrying about printing things off correctly and sizing issues- how much freedom is that!

Devil is in the detail peeps. Make sure that the back has a point of interest too. For me, it is a label to show where it was made.

And I have a giveaway for you too! I have a pack of the pattern paper that I am using today to send out to one lucky person. All you need to do is to leave me a comment below and the winner will be chosen at random on the 25th June 2018. I will post the lucky person's name on here so keep watching!
Giveaway now closed!

This is a really handy pack and you will be surprised how easy it is to draft a simple pattern!
So what is in the pack? A pack each of Hemline Squared Pattern Paper, Dressmaker's Carbon Paper and Tracing Paper. There are several sheets of each so if you are a sewist, it is a lovely prize.

You don't have to have squared paper to make this pattern today but it is handy and it is in the pack!

So let's get started and will show you how to make this little purse template free!

To begin with, let's gather some supplies....

-F8th tie dyed fabric. You can make your own but I am going to upcycle a pillowcase that I have never used.
-F8th lining fabric. Mine is Soda Straws from the Boardwalk Delight collection by Dana Willard for Art Gallery Fabrics (Hantex)*
-F8th H630 light wadding (Vlieseline)*
-4" navy metal zipper
-small scrap of leather for the zipper pull
-Union Jack ribbon (Berisfords)*
-bright gold iron on foil
-peace symbol die. I am using the Sizzix #662165A
-Sizzix Big Shot manual die cutting machine*
-F8th Hemline Squared Pattern Paper*
-Your usual sewing needs

*The addresses are in the Right side bar

Right - let's get the template making bit out of the way first. Oh and by the way, due to popular request, my patterns on here will now be all in imperial measurements.

Begin by drawing a 6 1/4" long x 5 1/4" wide rectangle....

The squares may not all match up. Don't worry too much about it for this make.

Now find something round which is about 6" diameter. This can be a plate, or a cup or anything at all. Round off the bottom of the rectangle....

A side plate makes a perfect 'thing' to draw around and every house has at least one!

Don't worry if it is not super perfect. I will show you the universal designer's trick to fixing it in a minute...

This is what we have now.
Cut the rectangle out now...

Don't round the corners yet!
You can see by the squares that it is not absolutely perfect on the bottom...

Hmm...needs some surgery...
There is a really easy fix used by just about every designer at some point in their careers.... simply fold the pattern in half...

Just choose one of the curves to cut. This will guarantee symmetry every time.
Off it comes!
When you unfold it, you can see where the right hand line went a bit awry? It doesn't matter. it is all fixed now and ready to go! Just ignore it.
That's it! That is your template and you can use it again and again and it already has the 1/4" seam allowance included. I did say that it was easy! It actually took longer to show than to do.

Now use the template to cut two outer panels, two lining and two interfacing....

One size fits all!
Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the outer panels....

Don't worry about the interfacing being in the seam allowance, just cut it the same size and iron it on!

Let's put the peace symbol on next. Cut the symbol using the iron on foil and the die and Big Shot

I needed a few passes but it came out beautifully.
Iron it on to one of the outer panels using the manufacturer's instructions and remove the protective plastic

I just love this stuff! It makes everything you do look professional.

The panel is now ready to use. Let's prep the zipper next - don't worry, that is really easy with my method too. Begin by cutting a piece of lining 2" wide x 4" long. This is longer than you need but it is easier to handle and you can trim it. Fold the strip in half length ways and crease the middle...

The seam roller is so much easier than running to the iron for every little thing.
I am using a Clover brand seam roller which I have lately found to be super useful for making creases like this (as well as flattening seams).
Fold the two raw edges to the centre crease...

No really easy way to show this but I think that you get the idea.
You have essentially made a piece of straight binding.

Now bind the ends of the zipper and trim the excess away so that the binding is the same width as the zipper.

Bind each end of the zip.
By the way, I don't sew this anymore. I sued to but it is fiddly and my machine does not like it one bit. I sew and clip now and it works beautifully. because it is such a narrow part once the pouch is sewn up, it all holds perfectly.
TIP: Some zippers are a bit long and you will need to trim the end tapes to about 1/2".

Time to put the zipper in. Take one outer panel and one piece of lining and place them right sides together with the zip sandwiched in between.....

The vertical pins at either end of the zip remind you where to start and stop sewing.
Sew from one bound end of the zipper to the other only without going over. This is the important bit which will make the bag come together at the end. Repeat for the other side.
Open the panels out so that the zip is exposed and topstitch, again only going from zipper end to zipper end on both sides....

The topstitching also goes from one bound end of the zip to the other.

Now open the whole thing out and place outer to outer and lining to lining right sides together and pin.
Leaving a turning gap in the lining, sew right around the very edge with a normal 1/4" seam allowance....

It is more usual to avoid putting the turning gap on a curve but here we have no choice. Don't worry, it doesn't present too many problems.
By the way...have the zipper open for this bit or you will have to unpick the outer, get your hand in there and wiggle it open - the zip has to be open so that you can turn the pouch the right way out!
Here in contrast thread, you can see how big the gap should be.

Before turning out, clip the curves with a sharp pair of scissors, being very careful not to clip the seam...

This reduces bulk and means that your pouch will have a lovely smooth curve.
Turn out through the gap and close the it. Push the lining down into the pouch.
There we go! I have added a piece of leather to the zipper pull which is about 1/4" wide and 4" long (it can be trimmed if it looks ridiculous)....

I love that gold die cut peace sign. I think that it makes it!
All finished!
As you can see, I also added a Union Jack flag to the back of mine to show where it was made...

This ribbon has lots of Union Flags on it so that you can cut them off and use them as labels. Finish the ends with fray stopper.
That is one of the easiest ways to make a pouch and you have the added bragging points that you also made the pattern. 

I am actually about to open an Etsy shop with some of my bag and pouch patterns in and they will all be made in this format so you can practice and expand your skills.

Might make some in other sizes! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Gelli Plate Printing and Die cutting - Cards!

Gelli printing with acrylics to make card components......

I have just bought a gelli plate and I love it! I put it onto a shelf and looked at it for a while, assuming that it would be hard to use but the other day, I took it down and actually got it dirty.

The start of something (else)

And I love it (I may have said that already). It is really fun to use with acrylic paint and it is not at all difficult to get a really good result. I made heaps of backgrounds and then cut shapes out with my die cutting machine to make some cards. 

It is great for lettering too!
Loving cacti at the moment. And loving the sort of realistic variegation that the gelli plate process allows.

What I really wanted was some fun components to use on my cards which had a bit more depth than just flat coloured paper or printed coloured paper.

The palm and the leaves really come to life with this technique.

I was after variegation for plants and trees and textures which could be turned into things like wood and so on. In my posting for Easter, I used the technique to make some candy coloured backgrounds and letters which I cut out using my trusty die cutting machine. You can find that post quickly here. I did promise a fuller explanation of gelli printing in that post.

It cannot be just a coincidence that my Hibiscus was blooming at the same time. It MEANS something.

Well all that is very well and good but what is this technique and, more importantly, how hard is it!

Well you need a gelli plate and you can buy these from all good craft stores and very readily online. You also need a brayer which is a little hard rubber roller to spread the paint. They are often sold with the gelli plate.
And you need some acrylic paint. I am using DecoArt acrylic paint which I love the most. The important thing is to choose three values of each colour (light, medium and dark) to get some nice variation. 
You can use four but never more than five because what you will get is a nice variety of mud.

Get yourself set up in a place where spills do not equal disaster.

Thankfully you do not have to be ultra precise about the application of the paint. That red handled do-hicky is the brayer by the way.

I started with a pea sized blob (or dribble in some cases) of three different colours of acrylic paint.

Then I rolled them to mix and blend....

I like that texture for wood grain.
Actually found that it was a bit on the generous side but that meant great texture.

A piece of white card (just normal card making stuff) was next....

Just plonk it onto the plate and smooth it over with your hands to get a good contact.

I didn't move it around too much so as to keep the texture and pattern.
Then the great reveal....

As you can see, what you see on the plate is what will transfer. i wasn't bothered about the white bits because this will all be die cut to make smaller things and I can avoid them; repeating the print may ruin my effect.

I was so thrilled with the results! I made about six more and then got a bit bored with brown. Well it was time to wash off (just plain water and no soap or anything needed. and then I changed to green...

Diagonal this time for a different look.
Once again, three different values of the same colour.
And here are some of the results...

There are squiggles and some of the card pieces were too long for the gelli plate so i turned them over and mopped the paint up with the end. Still worked!
This colour will look very natural when turned into leaves and foliage.
So the next thing to do once they were dry was to make card components.

I ran this little one through my Sizzix Side Kick, avoiding the white bits. I then went around the edge with a black marker pen to give a bit of drama.
You can see it a bit better here. And I outlined in black to give it a bit more oomph.
I love my Side Kick - and small and thin dies will work with it too. You don't have to use only the ones which come with it.

Cacti next of course!

I had used some thin card scraps recycled from packaging and they are perfect for making little bits and pieces.
No stamping required either for detail do if you have some dies without (shock, horror) the matching stamps, this is a lifesaver.
I really wanted to make my husband a birthday card with trees using my newly printed pieces.
The real reason for making a lot of green was, as I mentioned, to make trees and foliage and I had this idea for a birthday card for Rob with a double layer of forest and a balloon in the sky.

Step one was to roughly cut a cloud pattern from some spare card and ink the sky.

Next was to stamp a vintage balloon with a nice rich black ink and a lovely Tim Holtz stamp.

Love the stamping platform too for a really nice dark image and no worries about a double line.

The tree line was ct from a Sizzix Christmas die and to get the double layer of trees, I reversed the paper and cut one lot from the wrong side of the gelli plated card. I then laminated the front one onto a thicker piece of card to give a 3D effect.

So far so good!

Even though I was not super careful when cutting out the clouds, the effect works nicely.

I stitched the trimmed panel onto a piece of nice paper and then added some more die cuts for words.

A couple of Tim Holtz word stickers filled the space on the right hand side.

Very happy accident with the dark tree at the back! It gives it such depth.

While I was at it, I made a palm tree card as well. Again, the variation in the colours are just perfect for the tree and the trunk.

Different greens would give a totally different look and the results can be quite random.

And the finished articles again (I know, I know)....

Those fern fronds look wonderful with the die cuts.

I love this tropical vibe.

A great birthday card idea just to have on hand.

I was thinking of ships and messages in bottles when I made this one. Sailing ships in tropical places. maybe I am just sick of the grey winter weather here in the UK!
The old bottle was made with the printed paper and so were the palm fronds.
The pots are made using the brown print. I darkened the edges with some walnut stain distress ink.

Well thank you for staying with me for that one folks! It was a long post. I could not decide what to leave out.
See you next time.
Love and hugs