Cards with Faux Metal Flowers

The painting is not going well, the lap top is still temperamental and the weather is changeable – it being spring and all – and I have not posted for ten days!

The desk top is buried under a pile of papers and inks and paints and heavens only knows what and I end up working in that little 10 cm square empty spot in the middle:

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Now before continuing with my tale I must just fill you in a little more.   I am an enthusiastic fan of Vivian Keh, whose blog ‘Contadina K’ is peppered with beautiful and inspiring work and who often makes videos to share her talent.  [If you are a card maker and haven’t, you should check her out]

Vivian has been making gorgeous cards [check ’em out here] which kind of inspired me to get out my embossing folders and play around a bit with them – I can’t remember why precisely, but something was kicked off in me and I left her blog and wandered off to the play room and hauled ’em out ……….  I didn’t document the process, but all that work can be seen as the background to what comes next……….

On with the story.

If you are a long time reader of this blog you will know that when things are not going well in the arty-farty part of my life I make flowers.

So, I’ve also been making flowers.

This time I played with water soluble pastels and pastel gliders [which are similar to Faber Castell Gelatos] only with a more affordable price point  🙂   I randomly splotched colours all over some 160gms water colour paper and then spread them about with a very wet paintbrush.

See those chopped up bits of paper lower left of the photo, that’s all that is left of those lovely colourful papers I created.

I die cut as many flower and leaf dies as I could fit onto each piece of paper and got a wildly varied collection of colours and patterns – some look really interesting and pretty:

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Others not so much:

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Some colour ways just did not sit well with the cards I had already begun to prepare for them – using the embossed backgrounds remember – so I got out the ‘Twinking H20’s’ and started playing around to see what happened.

What happened was that as I layered the different colours I began to get a metallic look.

This was exciting and interesting so I forged ahead and made these:

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The card on the right is not finished – it is still waiting to be flowered up, but here you can see one of the embossed backgrounds I’ve been wittering on about.  The other two are already tucked away safely in their cellophane bags, maybe not so very clear, but you get the idea – yes?  And those beautiful backgrounds are really my favourites – more about how they were made a bit later.

Here is the latest card I made, not yet bagged up so let’s have a closer look at it:

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I make these cards as durable as I can.  They are made from A4 200gsm card and the inside back is given the same matting format as the front which makes it sturdier and able to support the weight of the card front.  Here is what the inside looks like:

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Lots of space to write your message!

Closeups to show the faux metal look:

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I think the above photo shows best the metallic look – the leaves look weighty and see, even the tiny butterfly has a metallic look.

In real life they all  do really and truly look as if they are made from metal  – this morning I actually had a tinge of disappointment when I picked up a metal looking butterfly [made using the smallest Martha Stewart butterfly punch] and it had no weight to it – and I made the darn thing!

Here’s another flower with a copper look to it:

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Once the H20’s have dried I run a darker ink around the edges and some raised parts of the flower and leaves, which gives a more finished look to each piece I think.

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This card also has my favourite background – remember those first two cards, here is how they were made.  I used two Spellbinders ‘Impressabilities’ – this one called ‘Diamond and Stars’ and the one used at the top of this post called ‘Butterflies’ – as templates and inked through them with three to four different coloured chalk inks.  I think the colours are soft and pretty and they work well –   Yay, successful backgrounds.  🙂

So that’s what I’ve been up to the past week or so – just playing around to see what happens………………

What do you think?

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did 🙂

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Storing Dies – Solving a Paper Crafter’s Dilemma

I love dies!  They are a great tool, but there are so many on the market you can go bonkers and end up with a storage dilemma!

I  use lots of Spellbinders and I love the dies that Memory Box, Poppy Stamp, Couture Creations and My Favorite Things put out.  I have some Sizzix too, but not many.  I find the size and thickness of those other Tim Holtz dies too problematic to store, so though I have a couple I no longer buy them.

The dies I do buy are thin.  They may be thin, but they are weighty.

When I first starting using dies, about six or seven years ago now,  I kept them in their packets in a small box.  I kept buying more dies [all paper crafters know it is addictive!] and they graduated to a large shoe box or two, where they got all muddled up and I spent more time hunting for what I wanted then actually die-cutting.

About two years ago they found themselves being fitted onto magnetic sheets and being stored in a purpose built plastic case.  Which the growing number of them soon out-grew. This solution was also problematic – the cases are pricey and the specially shaped magnetic sheets are also pricey.  The cases hold a finite amount of dies and do not hold the larger ones at all [Spellbinders ‘Grands’ for example.]

Their next home was an apartment building of 3 hard cover large ring binders, still attached to their magnetic sheets and each sheet individually encased in a plastic sleeve.

That seemed to work better than any of the previous scenarios, but the weight of the combined dies in each folder made for two problems.

1: hoisting the folders down from their storage shelf and back up again [I’m short and leaning over the work bench and reaching up to the shelf with weighty things can be fraught in a crowded working space – if you drop a folder it breaks stuff!]

2: the weight was tearing the plastic sheets away from the binding holes, making the folders unstable and searching for items more difficult.

There was still also the issue of searching through weighty pages of dies to find the one I was looking for.

Then a couple of weeks ago someone in my local Freecycle group advertised 30 new, empty DVD cases to give away.

I was on the phone like a shot!

When I got to the house to collect the cases the lovely man asked me how many I wanted.  “All of them” I said – meaning ‘all thirty.’ and explained what I wanted to do with them.  He swooped up two boxes and carried them to the car.  When I got home I discovered I had ninety new, empty DVD cases.

Ninety!

Here’s a shot of about forty of them:

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All beautifully and tidily lined up, labelled and categorised.   Every Virgo’s dream  🙂

Some of the fronts even have a picture of the contents, others just a list.

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Open one up and take your pick – this is a selection of my favourite embellishment type dies::

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This is a Sizzix set of stamps and dies – most recently used in the making of the ‘Box to Book’ project:

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No more hunting through pages of heavy dies – now a quick peruse down the spines and Hola!  there is the one I want to use!

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I love my little mannequin posed there – he ever so slightly reminds me of C-3PO out of Star Wars ….. Perhaps I should paint him – is it silver or gold, I can’t remember – what do you think?

There is now one remaining large folder housing the  aforementioned ‘Grand’s’ and a couple of extra long lace edge dies from Couture Creations.  Not a problem with just six pages to sort through.

The remaining DVD cases are now being utilised to store acrylic and unmounted rubber stamps – still in progress.

And there we are my friends, one less dilemma in the creative space   🙂  It is working really well and is encouraging me to use my dies more often as they are so easily accessible!

Thanks for dropping by today, I love that you did!