Thursday, 30 June 2016

A Little Jar of...... Cards

Hi all,

Been feeling pretty rough the past few days... It all started when I made the decision to 'get fit'. I've never had to before, I used to get picked on for being so skinny.... but my arms are bigger than they should be and I just need to tone up. So I got out some weights, 1kg each, and started doing reps, 20 of this, 20 of that, 10 sit ups, 10 more.... going 'hell for leather', as my mother says.   No one told me I needed to warm up... So I spent Sunday feeling sick as I pulled my stomach and then woke up early Monday morning in agony from my back... I have a cuddly owl that heats in the microwave so I used that... still in pain... took painkillers... luckily my mum came to check if I was ok so she put pain relief cream on my back.. which helped a bit.. but I spent a few days exhausted.
I think from now on I'm just going to watch what I eat. I already cut out fizzy pop but now I'm not going to allow myself to snack....
 I felt back to my regular self yesterday so I baked a cake, started putting together some videos, recording voiceovers... I finished those this morning, made a tag, and knitted a bit more of my dinosaur. But nothing I've finished to share yet!
So today I'm taking a blog post from the 'bank' of posts I've made for times such as this.... sorry but I hope you'll love these cards as much as I do.

I've some cards I made a couple months ago to share today using a stamp set I bought from Fred Aldous in Manchester. It's by Personal Impressions and there's a little jar plus four different 'fillings' such as stars and buttons. Really cute! Here's what I came up with...

(Papermania Craft Collection)

(Bo Bunny Isabella collection)

(Papermania Country Life collection)

Thanks for stopping by! I've a new video to share on Saturday and I can't wait for you all to see it, I've found a new, more professional way of creating my videos that I'm super proud of.

Emily xx

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Tutorial Tuesday - Watercolour Cards

Hi all,

Today I'll be showing you how to make these simple watercolour cards.

To start with, you'll need watercolour paper (or a heavier paper that won't warp when you add paint) and some watercolours. They either come in a palette or in tubes (I prefer the tubes as the colours are more vibrant). 
Measure the size of the paper you want and lightly mark this on the paper so you know where to paint.
Squeeze a little bit of each colour you have chosen onto a palette (or anything plastic if you don't have a palette - the paint will wipe off). Take a wide, damp brush and paint a stripe of each colour side by side onto the paper. The colours can overlap.
To assemble the flamingo, cut two flamingos, one in black and one in pink. Chop the legs and beak off the pink one and stick the pink onto the black. Both papers are by Xcut, adhesive glitter paper and adhesive chalkboard paper.

Here's a picture of the finished article. I added a brad in each corner for a bit of interest and a die cut sentiment in the same chalkboard paper as on the flamingo.

A second card using the same watercolour technique but with a sentiment die cut from the centre. (Xcut dies). I used the cut out leaves in each corner.

Thanks for stopping by!
Emily xx

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Bunny Layout

Hi all,

Here's a layout I made using the Forest Friends collection by Grace Taylor/Trimcraft. 

I took the picture in a park in Benalmadena in Spain, it was full of animals and birds and I saw this TINY bunny sitting there eating some lettuce and it was so cute I nearly cried...

Thanks for stopping by!
Emily xx

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Belle & Boo Bunting Card

Hi all,

A new card to share today using the Belle & Boo collection by Trimcraft.
It's an A5 card, I would have made it smaller but I wanted to include the decoupage but not as the main focus of the card. I bought a set of Xcut mini bunting dies and never used them yet so I thought they would be perfect on a card where Belle is having a picnic.

To start with, the paper wasn't quite as wide as the card blank so I cut it down so it would be the same distance from the top and bottom as either side. I then cut two strips of paper 2 inches wide and stuck one at the bottom of the paper and one a little further up, this one with a punched scalloped border. I stuck these together and then cut an aperture from the centre. I die cut some bunting from the paper pack and stuck the largest bunting directly onto the card blank and used a glue gun to stick twine on top. I then added the layered papers with 3D foam dots. The decoupage is stuck on top of this, then more twine and the smaller bunting pieces, with 3D dots under these too.

I think this is my favourite card I've made so far... !

Thanks for stopping by!
Emily xx

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

This Week.

Hi everyone,

No Tutorial Tuesday this week... I tried recording something yesterday but I'll be honest - what I was making just ended up in a huge mess so I gave up on it.

Instead I want to use today's post to share what's been inspiring me lately and what I've been up to.

Firstly, this exists and I need it more than any paper pad I've ever needed before.

First Edition paper pads are (relatively) pricey but the paper pads are so high quality it's worth it. I'm a little jealous of my friends - I know people on the Trimcraft DT and they received this in their kits, and another friend of mine won it in a competition on Instagram. Hopefully Trimcraft will have a DT call soon and I can throw my hat into the ring. Their products are gorgeous and I've love to design for them. 
Yesterday I saw that I'd made my first sale on Folksy, plus I sold some clothes on eBay - I've started writing my profits down in a notebook, and I have accumulated enough to buy this paper pad (once it comes out - I haven't seen it anywhere yet), and it will be bought guilt free! 

Speaking of sales on Folksy, I had to make a set of 'business cards'. Well, just little cards to make the order a little more professional. I had some for my Etsy store but that was more for my 'art' side of things... so for these I wanted them to be a little more craft themed. 
Last week I did a little doodling, I drew some shells on my desk, painted them with a little watercolour and then scanned them. I learnt how to make patterns in Photoshop so used the shell drawings to come up with some paper designs and used one of them for the background of the little cards. 

I do need to come up with more designs and spend longer playing around with ideas on Photoshop, and when I do I'll be sure to make them into printables that I can then sell online. I love papers that look hand painted, so hopefully other people will too! I've wanted to be able to combine drawing with crafts for so long so maybe now is the opportunity to do so. 

I love packing things to be posted. Getting the bits together, wrapping them up in pretty tissue paper, printing a little card and a packing slip... I'm not weird, I swear....

Kaisercraft Boho Dreams.
I was all ready to buy it on Sunday when they had a free postage offer on at Craftie Charlie....  but it was out of stock! Gah!

Anyway, thanks for stopping by!
Emily xx

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Fuengirola Harbour Mixed Media Layout

Hi all,

A new mixed media layout to share today.
I took the picture one evening at the harbour on holiday in Fuengirola. Though it rained a lot, by the evenings the sun had come out.
I've been wanting to up my mixed media game recently, I've been trying various different things but it either looked a mess (on the other side of this layout!) or didn't look 'enough'. I've been inspired by 7 Dots Studio for a while now but they always seem dark and dull (though still beautiful).
I'll explain briefly how I did this but I am planning a Tutorial using this process in which I will explain more in depth.

  1. Using acrylics, paint an area of the paper, be as messy as you want.
  2. Using a damp (but not wet) brush, use your fingers to spatter paint around the layout (consider your colour scheme here)
  3. Once dry, add backing paper, tags and washi tape. 
  4. Stamp around the edges of your main coloured area. 
  5. Spatter more paint over the layout
  6. Add your photo and gems/dots.
Thanks for stopping by!
Emily xx

Friday, 17 June 2016

May/June Quirky Embellishment Kit Unboxing

Hi all,

A new video to share today, unboxing the latest Quirky Kit.

You can find out more here!

Thanks for stopping by!
Emily xx

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Beach Layout "Together"

Hi all,

A new layout to share today.
My May/June Quirky Kit arrived yesterday and one of the 'extras' I ordered was an 8x8" printed acetate sheet. It worked brilliantly with the ombre paper (by Webster's Pages).
The picture was taken by Nathan's dad on the beach in Spain - Nathan and I were sitting by the shore so we could go in the sea and paddle - I had no idea he'd taken the picture until it appeared on Facebook the week after but I love this picture so much and I had to scrap it.

Originally I didn't have any of the mixed media stuff going on in the background but I felt it looked too plain so I took everything off the layout and added some modelling paste. I graduated it to match the ombre paper, white at the top and then more green towards the bottom. I did this by scraping a little gelato into the paste and mixing it in. 

Thanks for stopping by!
Emily xx

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Tutorial Tuesday - Photography Tips!

Hi all,

This week's Tutorial Tuesday is not video-based. This week I want to share some photography tips to show off your projects in the best way possible.

  1. You don't need a DSLR to take great photos. (I don't have or want one and photography is one of my hobbies)  A bridge or compact camera or even the camera on your phone is just as good, plus it's less messing around with settings which is always good.
  2. Make sure you have good light. Find a surface near a window and photograph your makes there during the day. If it's a dull, rainy day then just wait for a nicer day.
  3. If you do have a camera with different settings, see if you have 'expressive' mode - it makes the colours really 'pop'.
  4. The background should be either the wall that's already there or blu-tacked scrapbook paper (if you want something more colour specific or your wall is really 'busy'). A too-busy background can distract from your project.
  5. If you can, stand/sit further back and use the zoom function. This will blur the background (this works best if your project is about a metre from the background).
  6. When photographing cards, have them side-on to the light. That way you get graduated light against the card and it looks more natural.
  7. Buy a mini-easel from The Works. They're super cheap and great for photographing smaller makes such as mini cards, tags and smaller scrapbook layouts such as 8x8".
  8. You don't necessarily need a tripod for photographing cards, just a steady hand. However, if you find your pictures are blurred, tripods are not that expensive.
  9. Don't post blurred pictures to a gallery or blog. Seeing those is my pet hate - it just makes me think, could you not have spent ten more seconds having another go? If you're in a rush, leave it for another day. (rant over)
  10. For large scrapbook layouts, find a wall near a window with good light. Stick the layout to the wall using blu-tack and try and get it straight - use pictures or anything else on the wall as a guide. For this you ought to use a tripod so you get the picture dead square and not angled in any way. Set the tripod up so it's the same height as your layout. If you have a camera with a grid on the display, use this to help you. 
  11. You don't need Photoshop - the default photo editor on Windows 10 works just as well. Instagram is great for quick editing and sharing too. 
  12. If setting up each time you have made something is a bit too much 'faff', then why not save them until you have a few to photograph, then do them all at once?
  13. You can use props in your pictures to add some interest - think buttons, jewellery, candles, boxes (if you have a few makes you want to photograph, showing them on different levels can look fab!), art supplies... but don't overdo it and don't think you have to use any props at all. I personally don't like to but I know a lot of people do.
  14. Think about the purpose of what you have created. If you've decorated a box - fill it. If you've upcycled a jar - show it with some paintbrushes in. If you've decorated a frame - put a picture in it. If you've made something that hangs, hang it.
  15. If you're blogging and want to show specific details or techniques, then of course take works-in-progress or close ups of the finished article - it really helps to show what you are explaining on your blog post.
Aaaand I think that'll do for now - Any questions, just ask! 
Emily xx

Monday, 13 June 2016

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Father's Day Cards

Hi all,

With just over a week to go until Father's Day, there's still time to make a card and here are some I have made if you need any inspiration!

 Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

More Than Words Challenge June 2016

Hey everyone,

Just stopping by to share my entry for the June 'More Than Words' challenge and you can find out more here 

Here's my entry:

The theme this month was...

I was inspired by a picture I took (but can no longer find!) at the Beatles exhibition in Liverpool when I visited a few years ago. The word 'imagine' was tiled on the floor surrounded by red, orange and pink flowers.
I wanted to try something different this time so instead of making a conventional layout I threw some paint and spray ink at a (just over A4 size) board and worked from there.

Thanks for stopping by!
Emily xx

Stash Swap Roulette

Hi all

Recently my crafty friends and I have had a stash swap. Here is what Katie sent me:

And here is what I have made (so far!)

A dreamcatcher

And a steampunk card.

 Thanks for stopping by!
Emily xx

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

TUTORIAL TUESDAY - Die Cut Feather Layout

Hi all

In today's Tutorial Tuesday I show you how to make this layout using feather dies. 

Thanks for stopping by!
Emily xx

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Seahorse Mixed Media Tag

Hi all

Here's a little tag I made for a challenge on Things To Alter. The challenge was to simply make a tag of any theme.
For this I thought of a little beach hut so once I die cut my tag, I added on a corner to the top. I painted the tag in stripes of light and dark blue and then added ricrac to the top to look like a beach hut roof.
I covered the bottom half of the tag in PVA glue and sprinkled sequins across it. The sequins are from Poundland and I love how there are so many different shapes and colours in a pack.
I used the seahorse and seashell MDF shapes from Things To Alter and covered them with blue gelato (but next time I'll just use paint - nothing wants to stick to gelato covered MDF, not even hot glue!)

Thanks for stopping by!
Emily xx

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Gorjuss Shaker Cards!

Hi all,

Using the Gorjuss decoupage that came free with Docrafts Creativity mag in May, I made a couple of cards.
As both made-up decoupages had apertures in them, I inserted a shaker element in each, made with plastic packaging and glitter.

The first uses First Edition Kaleidoscope paper and elements from a Trimcraft Back To Basics goody bag.

And with the second I used the goody bag too.

Thanks for stopping by!
Emily xx