Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hand made birthday cards I received

It was my birthday last month.  I got a couple of hand made cards that my step-mother, Maria, made. She made one for my sister to give me and one from herself and my dad.  Maria goes to Stampin' Up! classes where they sometimes scrapbook, sometimes make cards.  She's done a wonderful job on these:

This one would make for a lovely spring card too - what with the wood embossing and image from nature. I think Maria did an excellent job colouring the bird!  (I didn't ask, but my guess would be watercolour markers.) (Click the image for a larger view, so you can see all the embossing and shading.)

This one is bright, celebratory and gender neutral!  It would make a great birthday card for anyone! I think this one has a very graphic art style.

I was thrilled to get some hand made cards for my birthday!  They certainly add a touch of extra specialness to the occasion.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New Dog Die Cut!

There's nothing like new machine envy that forces me to figure how to get my old machine to do something close or similar.  I have a Boss Kut Gazelle.  I bought it in 2007, but I'm drooling over the new Brother Scan N Cut. Well, I played with my Gazelle to see if I could mimic one of of the Scan N Cut features with a little extra elbow grease.  That gave me the designing bug again, so I designed a new die cut dog!

And I used the nifty outline feature of my Gazelle to make an outline that could serve as a silhouette on its own.

 Here's the doggy cut from patterned paper:.

I inked around the paws and tails on all of them to provide some more definition - especially on the cardstock ones.

This dog actually started out as a bunny die cut that I designed first.

Then I morphed it in to a dog.

(These will be up in my shops at some point in the future!)

The feature I adore about the Scan N Cut is that it will scan any image (rubber or a printed digital image or my own sketches and handwriting) and cut it out perfectly. I would NEVER have to fussy cut a stamp again or manually make a stamp mask.

Although the newest software of my Gazelle can do print and cut using registration marks, I have never upgraded the software because I don't use the machine as much as I imagined I would. I find I still prefer the finished edge of manual die cuts. Nevertheless, this machine has definitely served me well for YEARS.

While the newest Gazelle Software can print and cut, my original out-of-the-box-from-2007 software can outline.  So, I scanned in a stamped image (with my printer/scanner) and then outlined it.  I can cut the outline and then use my stamp-a-ma-jig to stamp inside that cut out.  More steps, more time, more margin for error, but it does the same job.  So, no Scan N Cut for me.... yet.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

I'm so ready for Spring!

By the time we reach the end of February, I am sick of the cold!  Cold, by itself, isn't so bad. It's the wind I despise. The wind comes along and strips away that little halo of heat your body makes around itself. It chills me right down to my bones!

So, here's a little flower card to wish for spring flowers!
I made this for a co-worker, who had been my mentee, who decided to try a different route with her career.  We worked together for some years and she was very detailed, diligent and willing to continuously learn and improve. She will be missed in the office!

This card uses my favourite scrap paper idea - monochrome ribbon tails. In this one, I matched the blue with a neutral ivory/yellowish colour. The flowers are a stamp I acquired from Annabelle Stamps (in Australia). I coloured them with my Bic Mark-It alcohol markers. I think the vibrant purple is a great contrast to the soft background.
In fact, I've had a lot of fun playing with my alcohol markers.  I have three kinds: Copic, Bic Mark-Its and a couple blending pairs from Close To My Heart. (I will show you a comparison in a future post.)

I'm in to spring imagery right now! Flowers, Easter bunnies and Butterflies! Today, we had some beautiful sunshine, even though we're still below zero. I'll take it as a promise of spring in my books!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A boy mini album scrapbook

Boys will be boys!  Sometimes, I think our pantry (which is really our "catch all storage room" of the house) looks more like an armoury!  We store Nerf dart guns, Nerf water guns, Star Wars light sabers, and Nerf swords, axes and shields in there.  Having three nephews, my husband acts as their weapons master and train them in all combat arts!

I made this mini album for my husband.  I came down to the kitchen to make a tea one afternoon and could hear the battle cries from the back yard.  So, I went out on the deck and snapped some shots.  (These are from 2011).  Since my husband was so good to me to help me outfit my new paper studio layout over the Christmas holidays, I decided it was about time I finished this project!

You can jump to this all boy mini album VIDEO on my Vimeo channel.

I made it with chipboard covers and black cardstock pages.  The pocket pages are actually more like sleeves.  In one side, I inserted the hinge.  In the other side, I have pull out page with a flap.  I prefer to make my pull outs at the side so that the photos on the inside are protected from dust.

I am still experimenting with mini albums a little.  Thus far, I have reinforced the hinges and all folds with Tyvek, however this makes the folds thicker and therefore stiffer.  I've started another album where the hinges are Tyvek only - no cardstock.  (It might take me another 2 years to finish the next album though!) After that, I might try an album where the hinges are ribbon only.  Lots of ideas, so little time!