New Year’s Day Project: Card Collage

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It’s the annual Christmas Party for my studio regulars tomorrow, and traditionally we do a project that upcycles the now defunct Christmas cards and wrapping paper. This time I thought we’d do a little home decor piece ready to pack away with the decorations to bring out again next Christmas. Here’s my example, created in a Tando Creative Mini Printer Tray (laser cut greybeard).

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As if that wasn’t enough… some typography & chalkboards

There’s just one day left before the Christmas Fayre (in case I hadn’t mentioned it recently). Though I have more items than I can fit on even a large table, the inspiration hasn’t stopped. I thought I would have a go at some mounted typography, so designed, cut out (ok, the Cameo did that bit), stuck together and mounted these two examples – which happened to be two verses from Sunday’s morning services (see the sermon sketchnote).

Meanwhile, on the other side of the table, I’m finishing off some MDF chalkboards – three down (one featured here), three almost done. The first is covered in old dictionary pages, and aged with a ‘dirty wash’ – a drop of DecoArt Media Raw Umber and a drop of Quinacridone Gold watered down, brushed over and splattered with water before drying and sealing with DecoArt Media Ultra Matte Varnish. The second started with squidged Distress Paints, sprayed with water, then dried and I used DecoArt Media Phthalo Blue as my dirty wash, before glazing with a watered down metallic blue acrylic paint. I then sealed with a gloss varnish with a bit of DecoArt Media Interference Blue mixed in. And the last – I’ve tangled it in Sakura Micron 08 black pigment ink over Dylusions Linen White paint (which when completely dry doesn’t clog the nib), sealed with DecoArt Media Ultra Matte Varnish.

[Disclaimer: as part of the DecoArts Helping Artists Program,
I have been provided with samples of their products to use for projects]

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Mass Production Line: The Burley Christmas Cards

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It’s that time of year again. That time when you’ve designed this year’s Christmas card, and it’s time to make all 75 cards that are apparently required. So, a mass production line swings into action. Here are some tips:

  • When heat embossing large numbers of images, consider getting a teppanyaki hot plate (top right). Cover with a heat resistant non-stick sheet, turn up to a temperature where the embossing powder just melts, and then as you stamp and add the powder to each piece, the previous piece is melting. Slide the piece off with the end of a paintbrush as the embossing powder finishes melting. Occasionally you may need to push the card to the hot surface (again with the end of a paintbrush) if it has curled up.
  • Liquid Pearl dots love to cling and merge to the next one if wet. In my mass production line, I dotted in the same place on each holly sprig before leaving the set to dry. After a minimum of an hour, I did the next dot on each sprig, and left them again. Finally the third dot was added in the same fashion.

    TOP TIP:
    If your Liquid Pearls is misbehaving, warm it up on a radiator or in your pocket. It become less viscous, flowing better and forming nice domes.

  • Assemble in batches – and take a break between batches to stretch, change your attention, and generally improve productivity. And prevent boredom!

As to the finished result – you’ll have to wait and see. Especially if you’re one of the lucky 75 that receives the real thing 😉

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It’s all in the presentation

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Today ended up being a ‘let’s overcomplicate an envelope’ day. At first I’d planned for my metal tree decorations to just slip into an envelope and be done with it. But then I thought – I’m expecting customers to feel that they are buying a premium handcrafted item… and a white envelope just didn’t hack it. So I’ve spent the morning designing the perfect packaging, and this afternoon cutting them out and putting them together in readiness for the Christmas Fayre.

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Festive Chalkboard Candle Gift Cards

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I know, it’s still too early to mention the ‘C’ word, but in crafting terms I started Christmas crafting back in June with the Festive Chalkboard collection. This time, I’ve used it to make gift cards containing three scented candles courtesy of a certain Swedish flat pack specialist. The cards themselves are made using the Eazi-Score board from Diamond Card Craft – my instructions and board purchase information are here.

I’m getting stock (including these cards) ready for our church’s Christmas Fayre (Whetstone Memorial Hall, near Leicester, 28th November), so there might be a slight pregnant pause between posts as I’m frantically sawing, sanding, polishing, sticking, pricing and moulding various items – but as soon as I’ve finished each project, I’ll be sure to post them!

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Thank You Cards

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Using a combination of techniques I learnt in my Background Check class with Online Card Classes, Hero Arts Ombré ink pads and a #neverbeenused Darkroom Door background stamp, I’ve made these five ‘thank you’ cards. Quick, simple and super effective results, even if I do say so myself 🙂

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Background Check: Day 6

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It’s the final day over at the Background Check class, aside from the wrap up day. It’s another design break to allow us to make cards using the background techniques we’ve learnt over the previous two days. I’ve snuck into the studio and made my Day 5 backgrounds into cards:

For these cards, they’ve only needed the addition of a little sparkle to accentuate elements on the background, with the sentiments done on my trusty Dymo machine. Again, that’s not been out for a while, and it was the letter press (get it?) technique that prompted its use. It’s been a great course, well worth the sign up fee – if only to have had the impetus to use some loved, but forgotten, techniques and refill my card drawer!

 

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