Saturday, August 31, 2013

Earrings Display Cards

it all started off with tatting. I learned to tatt a couple of years ago and one of the things I enjoyed making was earrings.
of course this lead to adding pearls, pieces of sea glass or some Swarovski crystals and now making jewellery is one of my favourite crafts

In the past few months I have played with different ideas to display my jewellery, such as...... 

 little swallows on plain card

cards aged with distress inks

 painted with DecoArt Americana acrylics

business cards

and, after lots of trial and error I decided on using this  lovely Antique Stock Image of Godey's roses from the Graphics Fairy site

 I only wanted roses over one half of the card so cropped the image it to suit. 

and  used the services of Pikmonkey to add the text and frame - you can find an earlier blog here on how to do this

next I  printed on to 300gsm ivory card
and cut in to individual cards

I used  a Sizzix scalloped tag die 

and a punch from  Bead Landing -  available at Michael's (US) &  (sometimes) Etsy

 my cards are done, with some changed to display pendants or smaller earrings


and a ps - to make the cards with 4 rounded corners I cut them on the Sizzix a second time (with the tag facing the opposite way).

Monday, August 26, 2013

How to wrap bottles tutorial

have you ever had a battle with a bottle?
..not drinking it but wrapping!

I like to use good old brown wrapping paper for a man's gift (I get huge rolls at Costco). It's handy to have a roll to hand as it can be embellished in so many ways with tags, foliage, fir cones - I have even added a keyring to one.

so here goes...this is what you need

A bottle (of course) -  you might even need a spare one to open if my instructions aren't very clear! 
Double sided tape
Gift tag & twine
Single hole punch
Embellishments - I used a vintage tag and printed graphics from the Graphics Fairy

and........this is what you do

 cut a piece of paper wide enough to go around the bottle plus ½" and the height of the bottle plus 5"

lay the bottle on the paper and draw a pencil line just over half the diameter of the bottom of the bottle. Snip to the pencil at approximately ½" intervals

fold over one long edge 1/2 inch, make a crease and attach double sided tape over the fold

wrap around the bottle and stick it down

placethe bottle on it's side and tuck the slitted paper in towards the middle and stick it in place (I use sellotape) as this part won't be seen.  (If this is a gift for a special occasion you could cut out a circle to cover it and make it look neater) 

Stand the bottle up and make two creases

Fold over the corners

Fold down

Punch 2 holes

Tie a tag on with twine - this is a plain buff tag, which I gave an aged effect to with distress ink and then stamped the text on

stick on  label/s - I found these at the Graphics Fairy site

and then wait for the opening.....

... a couple of other ideas for wrapping a bottle for the man in your life - use  wallpaper samples

 hold curled ribbon in place with sticky glue dots

This steps used for the bottom of the bottle can also be used to wrap round shape boxes - maybe with a multi loop bow on top

and....I almost forgot, I have a new website

Happy Wrapping

Friday, August 16, 2013

How to overlay graphics tutorial for use on cards, scrapbooks & image transfer

I am always looking for ways to make my projects unique, and I discovered an easy way to overlay one image over another  on  PikMonkey

This can be done using either images from your picture album or royalty free images you source online. 

I used these two images  from the Graphics Fairy (an excellent source with hundreds of images)

 vintage French vintage sheet music as the background

and colourful feathers - plumes for the overlay

1. select a  background image, save it to your photos album and give it a name
2. repeat for the overlay image
3. log on to the PicMonkey website
4. click on edit photo
5. click on click to open or drag image here the background picture from your photos album and it will show on the PicMonkey screen

7. click on  textures (second from bottom on left of the page)
8. click on your own (top left on left of page) or you can use one of PikMonkey's textures
9. click on open my texture, then upload picture 2 (the overlay) from your photos album

      the result will look something like mine above (you may notice that I don't have the whole top layer
      but you do have the option to reduce or enlarge it if required)

10. Click on fade or saturate if required on  effect  or move if required

10. select any changes you want to make from auto adjust - the options are: crop, rotate, exposure,
      colors sharpen and resize

11. save to your computer

12.  print

of course, once I started playing, I couldn't stop!

The permutations when using this technique are endless and
there are excellent instructions on the PikMonkey site, but it may help to print this tutorial to refer to the first time you try it (I had to keep going back & forward).

the best part is that


Happy crafting 

..........and a ps you can use your own photos if you prefer

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Shabby Chic Cards & Tags

I had such a busy week - gift wrapping for a magazine feature and working on kits.

I also played with  Tim Holtz Distress Inks on cards and tags and am I am really pleased at how versatile and easy to use this product is

I used the applicator tools I made in my last tutorial and they worked really well.

I  made this cute little design with the intention of making a gift card, but then decided it would look nice in a small frame

I started off visiting my usual source of inspiration the Graphics Fairy site,  and found this beautiful vintage script graphic which I used for the background.  It really does look so old and not like something you just printed off

I rubbed some of the distress ink around the edge (colour is Vintage Photo). The mannequin was cut from card  and I stuck on faux silk leaves  for the skirt. The little bow is made with hand dyed silk ribbon

I also hand painted roses on some vintage  tags with DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint and have  listed them  on my Etsy shop

I found the best place to buy buff scalloped tags was Amazon - even better make your own with a cutting die.This means you can personalise the card stock you use

.on another note, I have been accepted as an Outreach Blogger by DecoArt (I love that company and have been a Helping Artist with them for over 10 years)

bye for now

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Easy Image Transfer with Lazertran

This is a quick project I did yesterday using Lazertran Inkjet Decal Paper. This is a quick and easy way  to transfer an image to a glossy surface.

There are clear instructions included in each pack but basically you:
source an image
print it on to the Lazertran
leave to dry for about 30 minutes
cut around the image
soak in warm water for about half an hour 
slide the image off the backing and to the surface
press to remove any air bubbles

 Sometimes your image will be left with an opaque effect, but this will go if you spray it with an  acrylic varnish such as DecoArt Acrylic Spray

I source my images from the Graphics Fairy because there is an abundance of vintage royalty free images, and we crafters all know you must be careful to keep within copyright laws.

I alway try and print as many images as possible on one sheet of decal paper to save wastage,  and a visit to Karen's site always provides inspiration, so not only do I get what I am looking for to complete the current project but also have others to use in the future. 
 I printed on to A5 paper and will use the other half later  (it comes in A4 sheets)

This is it looked before I........

 flipped it over (check the instructions for your printer)  so the script would read correctly 

 I think the little bees & dragonflies will look good on lots of surfaces and I have the bird cage earmarked for a tin jug from Ikea, and.....the Christmas tree mmmmmm
oooh and aren't the bees huge this year - there are lots in our garden

thanks for visiting, Gill