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Archive for the ‘Crafty Tutorials’ Category

A little notebook

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

A little notebook

A little notebook

I have had very little time for doing anything creative over the last 6 months or so. I have a part-time job now and when I added that to being a Mum to a busy 9-year-old, my singing commitments,  and trying to keep things on the domestic front under control (surrounded by chaos right now so losing the battle on that front!) – as well as attempting to write a book (drawing on skills garnered from my former life as a researcher) with my husband Kevin . . . something had to give.

This little notebook got made in a tiny patch of time during my Christmas holiday break using an image I developed for a series of cards I’ve called ‘Love Notes’ (which are in my Etsy shop). I printed this image out on the wrong paper and was about to throw it out when I thought of mod-podging it onto the front of a little plain-covered notebook I’d bought ages ago for this very purpose. I added a couple of bits of braid, applied ink to the page edges  and voila – my very own little one-of-a-kind book. I was thinking of listing it on Etsy prior to Valentine’s Day but never got around to doing a back cover for it. Oh dear! Never mind – it was fun to make and one can never have too many notebooks!

Decorating a Notebook

  • Materials
  • 1 x plain-covered notebook (I got mine from a craft supplies store)
  • 1 x image cut to size of notebook cover
  • Mod-podge
  • Braid, lace or other decorative trim
  • Stamping ink

Coat the back of the image with Mod-Podge and adhere carefully to front of notebook. Use a little roller to make sure it’s nice and smooth.

Once image is adhered apply a coat of Mod-Podge to the front of the image. Repeat this 2 or 3 times – waiting for the Mod-Podge to dry between coats – depending on how much gloss you want the cover to have

Select and cut to size your pieces of braid / lace / ribbon / twine – whatever you fancy – and apply (using craft glue) where desired.

Repeat the process with the back cover – once glue is dry of course!  As I said above – I still haven’t gotten around to this step :-)

Finally –  apply stamping ink to the edges of the pages – as per picture below. I used a mixture of dark brown and gold inks. You can apply directly from the stamping pad (waiting for the ink to dry between applications so you don’t mess up your ink pad), or you can use one of those sponge applicator thingies. As you can see mine is not as neat and uniform as it could be because the brown ink I used was very new and wet so things got a bit out of hand. I’m sure with a bit more care, however, you could end up with a nice effect :-)  Luckily I’m just keeping this one for myself!

Slightly messy inking job :-)

Slightly messy inking job :-)

 

 

Corner View – Experiment

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Experimenting

Experimenting

 

I have been meaning to do a post about this ‘experiment’ for quite a while so when I saw this week’s Corner View theme I thought – right – now is the moment!!

Just after Christmas last year I was playing around with my new angel card design – which I hadn’t actually managed to list in time for Christmas (postage lag times are huge between my  Northern Hemisphere customers and NZ) – and I thought of having a go at making the angel ‘pop’ out from the card.  I’m sure there is a name for this technique but I don’t know what it is unfortunately. I remember there used to be a lot of cards like this when I was a child and I liked the idea of trying to recreate that real ‘vintage card’ look.

So – I started off with the original card (on the left in the photo below) – and I photoshopped a page of angels on a white background and printed them off (on the right on photo below) . . .

Starting off

Starting off

Then I cut out one of the angels  (keeping the others for next time) . . . I left a little band of white around her because it looked better than cutting really closely.

Angel cut-out

Angel cut-out

Then I applied a few little spots of glue where I wanted the glitter to go and sprinkled glitter all over the angel and shook it off leaving the glitter only in the sticky spots. I used Diamond glaze but found when I did another card – see below! –  that Mod Podge was easier to use because you could sort of smear it on rather than it going on in bigger blobs than you wanted it to.  The first angel I did had to be binned because she ended up with way too much glue – and way too much glitter.

Glitter

Glitter

Next I stuck a couple of sticky foam squares on the back of the angel so she would stay firmly on the card  and ‘pop’ out a little . . .

Foam squares for the back

Foam squares for the back

And finally I stuck my glittery foam-square-backed angel over the top of the original angel on the card and . . . voila!

And here she is

And here she is

I think my cutting could be a little neater but overall I was pretty pleased with the effect. It is – of course – very labour-intensive and I don’t think it is really practical to stock these sorts of cards in my Etsy shop – partly because I would have to charge too much for them to recoup the amount of time I spent on them and partly because posting them long distances may damage them a little.  Perhaps I’ll just save them for special occasions or offer them as a custom option for customers who want a card with that extra bit of pizzazz  :-)

I’m glad I did this ‘experiment’ though because I was able to make one of these sorts of cards for my Mum’s 70th birthday – using my ‘Rose Bower’ image . . .

The Rose Bower

The Rose Bower

I had more difficulty cutting this lady out (because she wasn’t surrounded with white space and so had to cut a lot closer – note to self, make sure the image to be cut out has white surroundings next time!) – and I wasn’t sure whether to include the flowers around her or not.  My cutting is not as good as it could be but I think my Mum forgave me for that . . .

Detail of glitter

Detail of glitter

I only put a little bit of glitter on this lady – I didn’t think it was appropriate to coat her in the stuff!

And here is the finished product!  Mum was tickled pink about it. I think she really liked that I had obviously gone to so much effort for her card. I gave her a Rose Bower bookmark to go with it as well as a beautiful scented room candle.  It is lovely to be able to make cards for people – if you have the time I recommend you give it a go :-)

The Rose Bower

The Rose Bower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opera Heroine Magnets

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Opera Heroine Magnets

Opera Heroine Magnets

 

I bought a couple of sheets of that rubber-backed magnet stuff the other day not quite sure what I intended to do with it. Once I got it home it sat in its packet for a week or so (as these things so often do!) and then while I was working on my Marschallin card and bookmark set I thought how it would be rather lovely to pop a little Marschallin magnet into the package.  With my stationery (cards, bookmarks, etc.) I am trying to make sets of things now – rather than lone items. I think when you’re trying to sell things in a huge on-line market-place like Etsy you’ve got to offer things that are worth people’s while to order through the mail – so just trying to sell single cards (or single bookmarks) is a bit of a lost cause. That’s certainly what I’ve found anyway.

Anyway – then I had the challenge of trying to work out how to attach the images to the magnet sheet.  Surprisingly I came up an idea quite quickly and with minimum mess (unusually for me) – I used my laminator.   I wasn’t sure if the magnet sheet would fit through it but it did – no problems.

The magnet sheet emerging from the laminator

The magnet sheet emerging from the laminator

And here it is coming out the other side. Laminators are very easy  to use (luckily for me because I am not the best with complex machinery). You just pop your item into the special laminating pocket (you can buy sheets of this stuff at stationery stores),  feed it into the machine and viola – out comes the item covered in a protective plastic coating.

In this instance, however, the plastic didn’t stick to the magnet on the back (which actually turned out to be for the best) so I just cut that off leaving the images coated in a protective plastic covering and the magnet at the back uncovered.

The magnet sheet just before I cut off the plastic

The magnet sheet just before I cut off the plastic

My first attempt at cutting my magnets up was spectacularly unsuccessful – because I used scissors.  I don’t know whether other people have this problem but I have a real battle cutting a straight line with scissors. So I got out my guillotine. Once again I was worried the magnet sheet might be too thick for the guillotine to cut but no – it sliced through it like butter.  And I ended up with a pile of little Opera Heroine Magnets. I listed my first set on Etsy a few days ago. I wonder if anyone will want them?  I like them anyway – and I have several of my slightly wobbly scissored first attempts hanging on my fridge.

Magnet Set with backing card and organza bag

Magnet Set with backing card and organza bag

 

 

Easy technique for aging postcard edges

Friday, April 13th, 2012

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Yesterday I finally finished a Steampunk Postcard set for my Etsy shop – complete with aged edges. I have already got a few postcard sets listed with these same aged edges and a few people have asked me how I do them. It feels a bit silly doing a tutorial on something so very easy – but here goes anyway :-)

Stamping Ink and Sponge Applicator

Here are all the tools you will need – a stamping ink pad in your desired colour (I have used Espresso – a nice dark brown), a sponge applicator and some newspaper (or a craft mat) so you don’t get the ink over your table.

Then you get your postcard (or whatever it is you want to age) and lay it on the newspaper. Grab your sponge applicator and press firmly onto the stamp pad – like so . . .

Then start gently dabbing the inky applicator onto the edges of your card – starting from where you’d like the ink to go to and then pulling the applicator outwards to smudge the ink. Keep pulling until the applicator comes right off the edge and you get ink on your newspaper. Then repeat, working your way along the edge of the card. You’ll probably only get only a few centimeters done before you have to reapply the ink because it fades as you go along.  This gives a slightly uneven effect – with the ink being applied strongly when it first goes on and then fading as you go along.

Now just keep on working your way along the edges of the card, turning it as you move along – until the whole card is done.

I’ve also tried this using a mixture of gold and brown inks as in this Tosca postcard set which I am about to list on Etsy. It’s a bit hard to see the gold in the photograph . . . but it gives a lovely subtle glittery sheen to the edges. As you can see I have applied the ink much more intensely than I have on the Steampunk postcards. You can experiment until you get the effect you want for your project. Easy!