Sunday, 23 October 2016

Over to my Dark Side, with Visible Image

I see beauty in everything, I see pretties, I see the positive side of life...but sometimes I open a doorway to the dark side, to the things that I fear...and I decided, at this seasonal time, to show my fears. 

I created a spider web using the flower stem from IMPERFECTION IS BEAUTY 
I practised on plain paper first, as to build up the web you have to only partially ink the stamp to get the right distances 
This was my prep work to see how I might create a web.
Then I made my coloured background, in fact I made six: 
While playing with my stamping plate and my colours and stencils, it made sense to try a few ideas and different textures.
Once dry, I selected my background sheet and began work on my spider web with the stamp and Archival black ink .
I then began to make my features, my skull-headed moth...
and my three skulls...
I used the Edgy Splat from MUSIC ON WORLD OFF to define the moth a little, and also all over the edge frame. 

To finish the frame I edged all the way round it with the Flower Inkognito Stem again, to draw the eye into the picture. 

VISIBLE IMAGE Stamps used in this project 
Mr Bone Jangles
Imperfection is Beauty
Music on World Off
Glimmer of Light

Click these links to get to the Visible Image shop, The Visible Image facebook page, the facebook group where you can share your makes and get inspiration, and of course the blog 

Don't have nightmares!
Nicky x

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Stamp It - Craftwork Cards. Leave(s) the trees to me!

Sorry for the appalling puns but brace yourselves for more! I couldn't resist. A few weeks ago I was part of the Design Team that worked with some fabulous new Craftwork Cards stamps, backing papers and kraft card leaf die-cuts, and in this blog post, which I also put on the Craftwork Cards Blog last week, is my turn at sharing a few techniques and ideas I had while working with the leaves and the Mulberry Tree stamp kit, both of which are still available on the Craftwork Cards website      

So easy to colour with distress inks and a blending tool or sponge, I used four different Tim Holtz Distress inks on these leaves, then rubbed my finger in some gold gilding wax and gently rubbed around the edge of each leaf. Oh my goodness! Everybody has to do this at least once in their life - the result is amazing!
I used the same 4 colours to background stamp the tiny collection of oak leaves ( I think that's what they are?) onto a small square of white and then simply layered up using another product, the amazing coloured background matts, to complete the card.

You might notice a gold layer behind the white topper.....TOP TIP! Gilding wax round the very edge of another piece of white. 14407638_10153953567353100_2117572541_n

Don't forget to decorate your envelope too!

Talking of backgrounds, I made a whole background panel for just the one kraft card leaf, out of leaf from the Mulberry stamps set. I took two shades of yellow distress ink, and stamped a row of the darkest colour, then a row of the same colour but blotted once onto copier paper, so it was a paler imprint. Then colour two, two rows in the same way. There isn't any ink on the Kraft card leaf, just gold gilding wax again, because I love it!

Now for the trees - I LOVED the bare tree in the Mulberry Tree kit, and last week in her Stamp It! Blog Post, Julie Hickey  showed four fabulous seasonal variations. I saw something a little different, and I made the leaves into...well...the tree!

The black tree was stamped with Archival ink, the white was with Versamark, white embossing powder and then set with a heat gun.
I first stamped onto the two leaves, picking the best angle to showcase the branches.
Next I positioned them onto the coloured background matts and figured out, to within a mm or two, where to stamp the full tree onto the card. Then I simply attached the leaves with sticky pads and matted and layered the backgrounds. Really simple!
And finally...
Despite the abundance of beautiful autumn colours around us, Winter is fast approaching, so I got my whites and silver inks out. Icicle Stickles around the edges of the leaves makes me want to reach for my scarf and gloves in anticipation of those frosty mornings ahead! I can't wait!
I hope you have enjoyed my little blog post today, don't forget to leaf through the many designs on Pinterest - look at the Stamp It! page AND the Mulberry Tree page for inspiration!
And we'll be thrilled if you leaf a little comment on this post if you have found it helpful. I hope to have kept it all very straightforward today so nobody gets blown away by it being difficult. It's not - have fun!!!

I'll leaf you now, Trees puns just keep getting worse!

Nicky xx

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Twist and Pop!

How I made a TWIST AND POP card, like Karen on the Tonic Live show 23, 12th October 2016 

There are many videos and tutorials out there, this is my take on it, hopefully it's nice and easy to follow! 

1. Trim a piece of A4 card down to 29cm, and score at 14.5cm. Measure and remove 4 corners with a craft knife, each at 5.5cm across and 11cm down/up.

2. From each internal corner measure back up the length 1.5cm and make a criss cross score line across the very cernte point of the card. Make these Valley folds.

3. Fold and crease the card as shown and it will fold flat into itself, making a pointy house shape.Strengthen the creases with a bone folder. Those middle folds inside should meet perfectly.
4. Open it up again and attach small pieces of strong DS tape as shown. Stay close to the outside edges of the card as it won't fold  if you use too much tape.

5.From a new piece of card stock, cut a piece of card 28cm by 8.5 cm, score and fold at 7, 14, and 21cm. Don't worry too much about mountain/valley folds, it will be obvious when it's on the card.

6. Fold this in half and place FLAT to the right of the centre point. Align it with the ends of the diagonal folds that you can just see poking out.
7. Then open this section out fully and stick down FLAT over the left hand bit of tape.Gently lift that middle fold forward and the car will now close easily on itself, and you have the kinetic mechanism that makes it POP when it's opened!
8. You need one more piece of card, A4 in length but just 10cm across. This is going to be the cover for your workings. Score and fold at the halfway point. Stick the pointy house section to the inside of the card with the point just a mm or so shy of the fold, and turn over and stick the back of it to the other side.
Now when you open your card it pulls the kinetic part open and you get your POP!

You are now ready to decorate your card! For Karen's amazing demo and Owain's amazement at the impressive kinetic pop-out mechanism, you need to watch the Tonic Live show number 23

Have fun twisting and popping and don't forget to share your Twist and Pops on the Friday show with the hashtag #teatimewithtonic

Thanks for POPPING by!
Nicky x

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

My favourite snowflake - Part 2!

Following on from my fun with the blue snowflake card using the fabulous Winter Snowflake from Tonic Studios, I looked at how to use the die-cut WASTE  the bit that's left IN the card when you die-cut it out - as a stencil to make a background ...

Here's how I did it! 

I first made myself some pink card with two chalk paints and allowed it to dry. I used the waste from the snowflake diecut and a sponge with Tonic Nuvo white pearl acrylic to edge-stencil round my 13x13 square to make it look like edges of snowflakes (I LOVE how pearly this paint is!)

I added just a few of the smaller snowflakes from the Mini Wreath decorations set to fill in the spaces.

 To do this I just used the snowflake waste from the set and a little dauber with the pearly acrylic paint again, just through the snowflake.

To make the snowflake topper I used 3 diecuts and snipped two of them, sponging the largest and smallest with the pearly acrylic again, and the middle, and one snowflake from the Mini Wreath decorations set with pink.

I decorated the snowflakes with pink Nuvo Drops and layered them up with sticky pads, topping off with a tiny gem.

A stamped and embossed sentiment and a white ribbon and bow to finish!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Love Music - Love Visible Image!

I've made so many male cards with the music ideas on, then I stopped and thought - what about the girls - like me! And I wanted to play with some gorgeous pink and pale green chalk acrylics which totally float my this is the result. This card was featured on Create and Craft in September but for the benefit of new stampers and crafters who have joined us over on Visible Image this year, I've remade it, and taken some pics as I went along, to show the different stages of its creation.

I used stamps from the following sets

Music on World Off
Own Kind of Beautiful

along with

Paperartsy Chalk Acrylic Paints
dotty stencil
Black archival ink
Picked Raspberry distress ink
Black and white fine liner pens

Step 1 
I first prepared my background using a Creative Palette plate, mixing my colours and then applying white card. I did a few - more for future projects.

Step 2
When dry I added the musical stave randomly and some edgy splats with the distress ink
Step 3 
I stamped the headphones, the large loveheart and the MUSIC centrally in Archival ink and heat set it to dry
Step 4
I added random musical notes
Step 5
I painted inside the heart with dark pink acrylic then stamped the words onto separate painted card, cut them by hand and arranged them on the card. 
Step 6
The difference that a black and / or white pen makes - highlighting, shadowing, really lifting the features you want to stand out
Step 7
I framed and mounted my card, I used another 15x15 piece that I had painted, but which wasn't as bright, as my base on the card blank, and matted the top onto black to make it pop out.

I really hope this has been helpful, especially to newer stampers who are learning how to build up backgrounds. 
Click these links to get to the Visible Image shop, The Visible Image facebook page, the facebook group where you can share your makes and get inspiration, and of course the blog 
Thanks for stopping by 
Nicky x

Saturday, 8 October 2016

My Favourite Snowflake - Part 1

More Christmas today - and a card with all the effect achieved from just the one Tonic Studios Winter Snowflake. 

I made a background of pale blues using chalk paint. (sometimes it’s more textured than plain card) I diecut one snowflake to use as a stencil, and laid it over my base card.

 With a sponge and some navy blue Nuvo drops I gently sponged over the stencil a few times, really easy to do, just hold it down in the middle and sponge round it.
This was the effect I got:

Then I realised I also had a nice blue snowflake coloured entirely with Nuvo drops and I had to use it!!

I had only intended it to be the stencil but it was so lovely and pearly!

I used dies from Celtic Dream layering set to mount my blue snowflake and presented it on a simple easel card, using a ribbon bow as a stopper. 
Thanks for dropping by!
More Christmas coming soon!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Snowflakes and robins - it's got to be Christmas!

I finally managed to get my hands on the much adored Winter Snowflake die and I have been looking at ways to use it. For this card I decided to use it in the background, but I have more cards coming up where it is a feature, and how gorgeous it is too! 

I made a tag card shape (approximately DL size) out of two pieces of Kraft card, and attached the two pieces only at the top with strong DS tape.

I used a strip of paper from the Tonic Christmas Wishes pad and stuck it just right of the middle of the card.

I die-cut the snowflake just the once but split it in half. The bit on the left, I just stuck down, but on the right I stuck it first onto a half circle of kraft, otherwise it might get lost over the patterned paper. I also did two small snowflakes from the Mini Wreath Decorations set. I made a branch for the robin from a one of the dies from Sweet Melia.

I love the cute robin but I wanted to see if I could make him without paper piecing. I love paper piecing but if you have a lot of robins to make you have to look at finding an easier way, so I tried this: 

I cut a couple of robins out of white card and used one as a stencil for colouring through onto a piece of plain white card with alcohol markers. It looks odd to start with but you can tweak it to your satisfaction. Then, on a clean diecut (I used my template on other robins)  I completed an outline neatly in the right colours (and keeping the white white!), and stuck it over the top , then cut him out whole.

A couple of pearls, coloured with brown and a tiny dot of black, brought his eyes to life, and some white ones turned the leaves into mistletoe.

The sentiment came from the Winter Wonderland pad, with a bit of red ribbon to finish.
Thanks for stopping by!