Monday, May 23, 2011

Fabric Flower Tutorial

A few people asked me how I made the fabric flower on this ATC:

ATC swap with Marijke #2
Stamps (Hero Arts) - Clouds & Big And Small Flowers

I thought it would be easier to explain in pictures how I made it, so put together a little photo tutorial on the process. The flowers are really easy to make and can be made with just small pieces of fabric - I hope you give them a try!

Cut 5 circles of the same size out of fabric. I used my Cuttlebug which made it really quick.

Fold each fabric circle in half.

Fold in half again.

Using a running stitch sew along the curved side, a little bit down from the raw edge. I would usually use a matching thread but went for white thread this time so the stitching would be more obvious in the photos.

Add the next petal to the length of thread using a running stitch.

Continue adding petals with the running stitch until all five petals have been added. As you can see you don't have to be fussy about doing even stitches!

Holding the two ends of the thread, pull tightly to gather the petals together and knot 3\4 times.

Snip the ends of the thread and add a button, large gem or yo yo to the centre to cover up the raw edges.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lisa Spangler's Card Photography Series

I love making cards but sometimes (well often really!) find it so hard to take good photos of them. So I was delighted when I read on Lisa Spangler's blog that she is doing a Card Photography Series. I have so much to learn in so many areas so I'm thoroughly looking forward to all of Lisa's tutorials.

Usually I take photos in the morning in a sunny room at the front of the house. I've given up on taking photos outside as there always seems to be gusts of wind ready to blow over the cards. Also when I crouch down to take a photo Toby thinks it's play time and starts jumping up in front of the camera!

Lisa's first assignment was to download and print her cute card and photograph it in different locations using the auto white balance and other white balance settings. I didn't even know that I had a white balance mode on my camera - I'm terrible for not reading manuals! It was only later today that I discovered where it is and how to change it. My camera has been on direct sunlight mode since I bought it!

Photo taken early this morning when it was very cloudy. I seem to have a real problem photographing white against white. This photo is sooo bad! It also shows a problem I sometime have with cards - the light seems to be much brighter on the bottom right of the card. White balance - direct sunlight.

Photo taken at the same time and in the same place as the first photo but with different backgrounds. White balance - direct sunlight.

Photo taken in bright room but out of direct sunlight. The white background is further away than in the first photo and this seems to make a difference. White balance - direct sunlight.

The next three photos were taken this evening in a bright room but out of direct sunlight. White balance - auto.

White balance - shade.

White balance - cloudy.

I'm finding it slightly difficult to do this exercise as I'm working with a laptop (hopefully only for a little while longer) and any tilt of the monitor makes such a difference to the photos. I think photos 2 & 3 look better than the others and the last photo is the whitest looking one in that set of three taken this evening.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

ATC swap with Marijke

When I was making ATCs for the current Hero Arts challenge, I thought it would be fun if a group of us got together to do an ATC swap. So that’s exactly what a bunch of us did in the Hero Arts Flickr Group. With the random draw it turned out that my ATC swap buddy was Marijke in the Netherlands.

It’s been great getting to know Marijke a bit better through the swap and I was delighted that she was as keen as me to swap quite a few ATCs! We decided to swap six and wanted to surprise each other with our ATCs so didn’t mention a particular theme or stamps. I sent two ATCs I had already made this month – the owls from here and the bees from here.

For the other four I tried to incorporate a bit of both of us and what we like into them. Marijke loves flowers and nature and with her being from the Netherlands I had to include some orange (reminds me of when I see the Dutch football team on tv!). For me I included some of my favourite things – fabric, vellum and patchwork. The typewriter with the Friend Definition background represents all the emails we've sent each other for the swap. Marijke has received her ATCs so here they are:

ATC swap with Marijke #2
Stamps (Hero Arts) - Clouds & Big And Small Flowers
The clouds are stamped with tumbled glass distress ink. I paper pieced the leaves\stem and made the fabric flower. Sally kindly sent me the baker's twine I used on the button - thanks again Sally!

ATC swap with Marijke #3
Stamps (Hero Arts) - Sew Artsy
Using patterned paper I made a little strip quilt pattern for the background. I coloured the sewing machine with watercolour pencils and covered with a layer of Glossy Accents.

ATC swap with Marijke #4

Stamps (Hero Arts) - Happy Wishes & Old Letter Writing
I applied broken china, faded jeans and shabby shutters distress inks to white card and spritzed lightly with water. Then I white embossed the Happy Wishes image and added touches of diamond stickles here and there. The butterfly was punched from a piece of vellum which had been white embossed with the Old Letter Writing.

ATC swap with Marijke #1
Stamps (Hero Arts) - Type, Friend Definition & Small Variety Alphabet.
The typewriter was embossed using red embossing powder and the background was clear embossed. I used some letters from the alphabet set to create the message and just added a pearl heart to finish.

If you are still awake after this loooong post, well done!! Hope you all are having a fab weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thanks a Million

This is a card I made recently using a lot of my favourite things – the particular stamps, hand dyed fabric and some stitching.

Thanks a Million:)
Stamps (Hero Arts) - Antique Engravings, Scallop Borders, Thank You and Envelope Pattern.

To start with I stamped the butterfly on a piece of hand dyed fabric. Then I sandwiched a piece of wadding between it and another piece of the same fabric. I added some tight machine stitching to the butterfly and trimmed close to the stitched outer edges.

The bottom part of the panel was stamped with the Thank You and Envelope Pattern backgrounds using tumbled glass distress ink. The Scallop Borders were also stamped with the same ink and attached to the card with some machine stitching.

I'm still without my usual pc so hope the photos are okay!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Critters in Love ATCs

I had so much fun making my last set of ATCs and couldn’t resist making more for the current Hero Arts challenge. This time it’s critters in love. I’ve uploaded the photos from a laptop (pc in for repairs:( ) and it’s a really cloudy day here, so sorry if the photo is terrible!

Critters in Love ATCs
Stamps (Hero Arts) – Adorable Baby Girl, Heart Owls, Designer Woodgrain, Be Happy, Envelope Pattern, Woodland Creatures & Clouds Background.

Ladybirds card
For the sky I applied tumbled glass distress ink to white card and spritzed lightly with water. Shabby shutters distress ink was applied to white card and one of the hills was stamped with the Envelope Pattern. The tree was coloured with watercolours pencils and the hearts coloured with a ProMarker and covered with Glossy Accents.

Owls card
I applied distress inks (pumice stone & walnut stain) to white card and stamped the woodgrain using walnut stain distress ink. The owls were coloured with watercolour pencils. I stamped the leaves on patterned paper and the hearts were coloured with a ProMarker and Glossy Accents applied. For the background I applied shabby shutters distress in to white card and stamped with the Envelope Pattern.

Raccoons card
The grass was stamped on patterned paper and the clouds stamped on white card. I coloured the raccoons with watercolours pencils. The hearts were coloured with a ProMarker and I applied Glossy Accents to them.

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rainbow of ATCs

Part of the May challenge on the Hero Arts blog is to make ATCs. I haven’t made ATCs in a while and had forgotten how fun it is to make them. Another bonus to making ATCs is all the scraps I get to use up!

I wanted to make an ATC for each colour of the rainbow so just picked the first stamp that came to mind when I thought of each colour. All stamps mentioned are by Hero Arts.
Rainbow of ATCs

The Poppy Background was embossed in red and I added some beads to the flower centre.

I applied spiced marmalade distress ink to white card and stamped the Exotic Bloom in black. Then I just added punched butterflies.

I clear embossed the Clouds Background on yellow card. The bees were embossed in black and I coloured them with a yellow ProMarker and added diamond stickles to the wings. Trinh, thanks again for the black & white baker's twine:)

For the background I applied shabby shutters distress ink to white card, using the same ink stamped with the Envelope Pattern and embossed. Froggy was stamped on patterned paper and coloured in places with a ProMarker. To finish I added some leaves and green & white baker's twine (thanks again, Linda!).

On this one I clear embossed the Friend Definition on blue card for the background. The sewing machine was stamped on gingham patterned paper and I just added some thread and a fabric scrap to finish.

I applied some worn lipstick distress ink to white card, clear embossed the Magical Background and then applied dusty concord and faded jeans distress inks. The butterfly from the Antiques Engravings set was embossed in white and some purple pearls (thanks again, Sharon!) added to the centre.

Now I better go catch up on what I should have done yesterday instead of making these!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Card with Flower ATC

This is a card I made for the current Hero Arts challenge (Fabulous Flowers, ATCs or using colouring pencils) and this week’s Play Date Cafe Challenge.

Since I'm sending this card to a dear friend, I'm also submitting this card into Lisa Spangler's Mate-It+Mail-It Challenge #2.

I’m trying to make more cards using colour combinations that I wouldn’t normally use. The PDCC colours this week certainly fit the bill! I had to go rummaging around in my supplies to find some grey card and the nearest I had to lime green was shabby shutters distress ink.

Flower ATC on card
Stamps (Hero Arts) - Large Blossom, Messages & Envelope Pattern

The flower panel is the size of an ATC. For the background I clear embossed the Large Blossom stamp on some grey card. I coloured the flower, petals and stem with barn door and shabby shutters distress inks. The card base was also stamped with barn door distress ink using the Envelope Pattern.
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