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Saturday, 30 October 2010

Banana Frog Blog Hop

Good morning good morning good morning!  I have no idea why I am feeling so chirpy, but it is an exciting day for me - today is the Banana Frog Blog Hop, and I am also featured this month as I was the guest designer for October. 

Today's theme is autumn and I have added my own twist to the interpretation.  I used the beautiful colours of autumn to make a layout instead about elephants (hmmm - random at all?  Naaaaa.....  :lol:) Earlier this year, I was involved in the ardent hunt  to capture the most number of elephants I could which were displayed around London as part of the Elephant Parade.  Most of them were sold off afterwards by auction which raised double the target - £4 million! to save the endangered Asian elephants. 

I found the beautiful decoration and design of the elephants very inspiring and will have great fun making arty scrapbook pages around these beautiful creatures, so with the theme of autumn colour in my mind I chose this particular elephant, Cha-Chang! to be the first model. 

Supplies:    Banana Frog Perfect Paisley  
                 (available now for a staggering £3.30!)
                 Banana Frog teen lower (also on special!)
                 Banana Frog Christmas elegance
                 American Crafts Tropical cardstock 8 1/2 x 11"
                 Tim Holtz Ideology - Paperie Journaling Ticket
                 Tim Holtz Sizzix Sizzlets Decorative Strip die - Ticket Strip
                 Twinkling H20's
                 Paisley ribbon
                 Gold embossing powder
                 Ocean Sunlight Cosmic Shimmer mist
                 Turquoise Stickles
                 Jo Sonja Lagoon acrylic paint
                 A date stamp and smaller alphabet stamps
                 Scraps of cardstock
                 Lots of chalk inks!

I started off using this particular stamp from the Perfect Paisley set and embossed it onto the cardstock with gold embossing powder, which is perfect for Asian themes.  Paisley was also a very dominant theme in the Arts and Crafts movement, and to me it represents home comforts. 
I stamped this all over the top right hand side of the page, and just used the leaf top as a stamping margin on the bottom of the page. 

Did you know you could turn part of a stamp into something akin to a border punch?  I took the journalling stamp from the Christmas Elegance set and used the bottom half to embellish underneath the photo.  This stamp also made a lovely background number embellishment as a plaque. 

This Chatterbox sticker alphabet is something that has been kicking around in my stash - probably for almost five years - and I kept looking at it, wondering how on earth I would use it.  I think it looks great here - sometimes it is worth banging stuff onto a page without too much unnecessary worry about how it will turn out!  Same with choosing the scraps, too.  Whilst I am not a huge fan of too many clashing patterns and colours, sometimes a bit of extra interest really adds some dynamism. 

I really like how this layout turned out - a mix of painty, a bit grungy, a bit blingy - not too clean!  But it still feels a bit folksy and "handmade" to me.  I think Autumn is a bit like that too - so an autumnal representation on a page, using a different subject. 

Thanks for stopping by on this first leg of the Banana Frog blog hop.  Make a comment here to be in with a chance of winning some lovely Banana Frog goodies!

Why don't you hop on over to Julie's blog, to see how she has interpreted Autumn?  Happy leaf gathering! :)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

More Orange and Black Christmas Cards

Just two more from the series to share today ... once I'm on a roll, it is great to be able to continue until I have used up that piece of paper! 

Here is a very simple card I made using left over Basic Grey paper and the outside of the star Sizzix die cut shape.  I used the inside on another card. 

Perfect for a masculine card, or people who like very simple things.  I just topped the orange card with glitter glue, added a Craftwork Cards message, and that was it!

The focal point for this Joyous Celebration card was provided by one fluffy snowflake embellishment, layered onto a circle of black card.  I added one black card candy on top, and then glittered it!  Perfect cards to make for people who claim that they can't make cards.  Also very simple and striking, in my humble opinion!  Modern, too. 

Back soon with a different colourway! 

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Christmas cards Orange and Black

I had a fab day yesterday crafting with my friend Tara.  We both got into the Christmas card mood, and were quite productive! 

She got out various bits and bobs of Christmas stash to use, and she is always very generous to share.  Something that was in my Christmas box to use was orange handmade paper which I've had forever.  It's fun using non-traditional Christmas colours to make cards and this was a snazzy black/orange combo that I came up with. 

I recycled the silver square from another topper and cut out a snowflake from Tara's sizzix die, and then covered with black stickles.  I also recycled the black and white ribbon from a box of chocolates that I gave to my husband on Valentine's Day.  I also raided her black scraps bag and that stripey HOTP paper was perfect for a number of cards. 

Addition of black stickles around the border, graphic Christmas picture, and black card candy.  The orange hand made paper is a really intensive colour which shimmers - great texture, too!

I added a scrap of coordinating paper, the end of a Doodlebug paper frill which I altered to black from white, and cut out the Sizzix star and adhered onto the card with silicone glue - my new "must have" adhesive when adding dimension!  I've got a cheap bottle of glitter glue to use up which I bought when first crafting, and whilst it is much more gloopy than Stickles, it is more economical to use over a large surface.  Added another "card candy" over the top to act like a brad. 

For this last card, I used the lovely Christmas elegance Banana Frog stamps to emboss the snow flake onto orange card with black embossing powder.  I used the Sizzix die with a Craftwork cards message over the top for a very simple and graphic card. 

I made a few more of a very similar nature in the same colour way and I think this colour combination is very dramatic and effective! 

I have a commission for a pink Christmas card, so that will be my next challenge.  I shall have to see what raw materials I have in my stash and how inspiration strikes!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Banana Frog Guest Spot Part 2

I am very conscious that Christmas is now under two months away! I am one of these strange creatures who likes making Christmas cards actually OVER the Christmas period, so I probably had at least half of them done by the middle of January. Since then, though, there has been almost non-existent progress, so once Bev from Banana Frog had sent me her lovely selection of stamps to create with this month, I knew it was overtime to redress the balance.

I decided to showcase just a small selection of the myriad techniques that stamping utilises, and highlight this gorgeous set of stamps called Christmas Elegance.

I have a particular thing about misting at the moment, so used a combination of misting, embossing and sewing on this first card.

The baubles were coloured in with Distress inks and then embossed with black to make them glossy. I used red handmade textured paper which adds more dimension, but the shimmery texture is unfortunately lost in the photo.

I see purple is quite a strong Christmas colour this year, and this next offering is like a blustery winter scene, using three different shades of Cosmic shimmers.

I think certain peel-offs have their place (used judiciously!) and I have added some textured snow to this scene with buttons and white Stampendous snowflake peel-offs. I used white dotty rub-ons around the border of the misted area to add contrast to the overall card. I added Stickles to the tops of the buttons, which unfortunately doesn't translate here.

There will always be a place for the traditional colours of red and green at Christmas.

The small set of Budmo Jiggler stamps are perfect for adding a greeting with a bit of bling - by adding tiny daubs of Stickles, I think this card has achieved that retro, glamorous Hollywood look of days gone by! The tiny red gems adhered to the stamped tree baubles were stuck on using Glossy Accents. I broke out my Marvy Le Plume pine green marker to add a border, which helps draw your eye into the card.

And last but not least - I broke out my alcohol inks for this last card, which is another vision of purpleness. This one is my favourite, especially being mounted onto a gold card, which I think adds extra sophistication!

I hate throwing things away, and love to recycle as much as possible. I use leftover photographic printer paper (which has had images previously printed on it) and overcolour this with alcohol inks. Using lighter shades of ink aren't successful here, as too much of the previous image shows through. Being that my main aim is limiting wastage, I think I gain a lot of interest because the image also has an interesting gradient of colour showing through and it adds depth to the background. I then overstamped with white brilliance ink for the branches and the snowflakes in dark purple. There are an additional three layers on this card, with the mica shard, the greeting and the ribbon. Lots of shiny shimmeriness on this Christmas offering, especially with the additional Stickles on the stamped snowflakes on the mica!

By having this one set of Christmas stamps, you can create a huge variety of different, elegant seasonal cards which will surely stand out from the crowd. By also mixing techniques and using different materials, this can really give your creative process a boost when making a large amount of cards at a very busy time of year.

Those were the Christmas cards that I showcased at the Banana Frog blog on 20th Oct.  I hope you enjoyed what I created!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Splishy Splashy!

In response to this sketch below,

I produced this layout below. 

The photos are of our family mucking about in the resort pool last January at Caloundra, Queensland (Aust). Various patterned papers, Fancy Pants chipboard and Summer Soiree stamps, blinged with up Stickles. Detail like place name and date are still to be added eventually! American Crafts Thickers title colour altered with pigment ink, embossing powder and Glossy Accents.

I find it is a real challenge to work with these sized photos and not something I do as a norm.  I was relatively pleased with the way this layout turned out, and at least it is another layout completed for the album!

I have another layout due the end of the month for the Sketch and Scrap challenge, another layout for Scrapology .... something due for Banana Frog, and another commitment also.  Phew!  Struggling with a lack of mojo as well.... still, pushing through that obstacle is important to meet deadlines, so it's gotta be done!  Might have to set up a mantra like the little red wagon .....

Monday, 4 October 2010

October Scrapology Challenge

Our new challenge went live today at Scrapology!  Lynn Biermann's layout was our challenge for this month - I was stumped as to what my interpretation would be like, and eventually decided to simplify my version down a lot from the original. 

My husband and I have so few decent photos of the two of us together, that when I saw the one below taken by a photographer from a restaurant in Sorrento, I knew I wanted to do something a bit special with it. 

I took my inspiration from Lynn's major shape of the scallop and also used the flowers as my one accent.  As a bit of extra detail, I outlined the scallop with stitching holes that I made using a Bazzill template. 

To make the scallop, I punched out eight three inch circles from scrap card, and then marked the four midway points on the back a tan piece of 12 x 12.  On the same side, I then drew a circle as large as possible, and placed these eight circles evenly to form the scallop shape.  I then drew around the outline and cut out. 

I got out my collection of various flower stamps, and stamped out a heap of images using "London Fog" memento ink, which is a soft grey instead of the harsher black I normally stamp in. 

I then took out my set of Twinkling H20's and coloured in each of the flowers with the shimmery mica paint.  I took the colour inspiration from my outfit in the natural tones of chocolate brown, tan, teal and lime green. 

This layout was very time-consuming, because each flower was hand-tinted with Twinkling H20 paints and then "blinged up" with Stickles and gems.  Here's some close-ups:

That five point flower shape above is by Pink Paislee and is one of my favourites. 

I used my Quickutz alphabet "CK Newsprint" which I have rarely used, to my shame.  I cut the letters from the leftovers from the scallop and then Stickles all over the top, which gave a lovely sheen. 

The stamp above is the Glitz Distressed Couture Flower stamp.  It is quite large and flamboyant. 

Here's more of the detail above - I love the glitz and glimmer.  There's a freebie stamp from Craft Stamper, and representatives from Hero Arts, Fancy Pants and Crate Paper.  This is one of my favourite layouts lately and loses so much in the photography! 

Why don't you come over to the Scrapology blog and have a go at our monthly challenge?  There's a fab prize to be won, and what's more - hopefully another layout you love for your album! 

Friday, 1 October 2010

Banana Frog Guest Designer

Oooh - get me!  Well, I am the Guest Designer at Banana Frog this month.  I was a bit sneaky and uploaded my layout at the beginning of this week - so now I will share my other project with you. 

I have a friend's wedding tomorrow, so obviously I needed to make a card - the timing was quite perfect, as was this stamp set Bev sent me! 

Butterflies and swirls are perfect for romantic occasions and I think wedding cards need to be soft and romantic.  I cut a piece of robust cardstock just shy of the card blank and stamped the butterflies and swirls mostly around the edge. Here's a close up of the stamping.

 The swirls look great stamped off the edge, and it looks as though I have created a border because I have joined up the images. I then individually embossed each image with Stamp N Stuff White Pearls embossing powder, which gives a lovely sheen. Once that was completed, I used my Tim Holtz foam ink blending tool and various colours of pigment ink from the Tsukinenko Twilight Brilliance ink pad and then heat set to dry. Using pigment inks also gives the card a real shimmer.

With such a detailed background, I decided to just add a simple message with minimal embellishments to complete the card. I decided which message I wanted to use, and then printed it out onto cardstock. I then stamped the journalling spot around the message and cut it out. A few gems to add sparkle, and a flower on some 3d foam, and the card was finished!   Here it is below - I hope you like it!

The smallest butterfly placed on the flower was just the delicate finishing touch required.   I need to produce more projects for the 20th October, so I will have to get creating before then.  Happy crafting!