Friday 30 April 2010

Quite Contrary

And more My Minds Eye. The message is a InCircle on to a Woodware 1 1/2" scalloped punch, size otherwise known as Big.

A few things about the blog, nothing important though. Some of you may be observant enough to have noticed that I have removed the Crafty Blogs counter. When I read on Caz blog her reasons for taking it away, something in me said it made sense. I have been using Google analytics for a while now, so I know the real numbers of visits, wether they be from UK or from abroad, and sometimes it did not match the Crafty Blogs numbers. So, when I had the blog issues a few weeks ago and I had to redesign the blog -the idea was to make it as similar as possible to the old one- I made the decision of not putting up again the Crafty counter.

Also, I am going to try to put a watermark in all my photos from now. It is not that I have found my cards attributed to anyone somewhere, rather that I always have thought it is a good protection against that but never had the patience to actually spend time on photoshop and overlaying the mark. Also, if you have downloaded some of those photos then you will know where from. It may be annoying sometimes, but it is something that I think I should have done from the very beginning. Just a reminder, everything in this blog is copyrighted, from photos to words, to logos and everything in between.

Thursday 29 April 2010

Of printers and headaches

Last year I finally bought a multifunction printer that I was satisfied with, the printing results as well as scanning were very good for the price that I paid. And, of course, about a year and a week after I bought it, ie. the warranty is expired, the machine decided to stop. You know, I have been good to it. I have only used Canon new cartridges, no cheap alternatives not even refueled ones. After a few calls to the Canon service centre, the only solution that has been given to me So it is time now, once again to get myself another one. I have decided to go back once and for all to Epson after years of trying the other two major competitors, I truly think that I am meant for Epson. Now, I just need to choose which one.

In other news, I am so looking forward to Dawns Residential in a bit more than a week. If you ever been you will know that it is a fun occasion. Hopefully I will see many familiar faces as well as some new ones.

And the layout above? Do you recognize the photo? Yes, it is probably one of my most used photos in layouts and projects. Not only I adore the photo, but also I have got plenty of prints of it that are crying to be used. So, when I have a commission or a job that involves fotos those prints are used. The same can be applied to other photos like the one of Samara -nickname Layla- on the boat.

And, the papers? You guessed it right, My Mind's Eye. Honestly, I am not on commission. But there is a reason. This layout I made for a QVC kit. But I must admit that I was more than happy to use them, it is so exciting to make cards and layouts with products that you like not only their patterns but their quality and creative possibilities.

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Vintage My Minds Eye

Yes, I know, I know, maybe too much My Minds Eye cards, but I love the papers. This ones are old ones, vintage I call them, from the Penny Lane collection although strictly speaking they are not really old.

If you have been following the blog for a while you will have seen it pop in quite a few times. I still think is not finished this card, I think it needs something like a flower or something really pretty! If I revisit the card, I will post the updated version.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Envelopes for Over the edge

I love this lovely bright colors! But anyway the purpose of today's post is to talk a bit about envelopes.
Since Inez asked me if I actually make the envelopes I decided to explain how I solve the issue here. I actually very rare make my own envelopes, if I do it will be using the Cricut Expressions. However, the general trick is to have a large assortment of envelope sizes, so I know that it will fit one envelope or another one larger.

For instance this card is 6 x 4" plus the extra tab on one end. This card will fit a size B6 or similar envelope, like the i6 from Ideal Envelopes.

PS. The tab is a Woodware punch called Mini File Tab that you can see here. Alison, that is a very good idea, the only reason why I don't do it is because envelopes are always an afterthought for me. I know it is kind of wrong, but I really don't worry at all about a card being on a much larger envelope. But that is just me!

Monday 26 April 2010

Making the most of ...

Of die cut paper. Among my many other craft weaknesses, I do always fall for die cut paper, you know, the ones with fancy edges all around. It does really matter whether they are 12 x 12" or 8 x 8", as long as they have pretty patterns, I want them! So, of course, I fell in love with the latest My Minds Eye die cut paper.

Because of their quality, My Minds Eye are not the cheapest papers, but then again they are really papers, more like light card. Even so, I like to make the most of any material so when it comes to this sort I realized the best is to be frugal and think small. I trimmed the 12 x 12" into three pieces of about 3 3/4" . This way I would have three main cards plus two decorative strips from the top and bottom.

I folded one of the three pieces to create a concertina fold to help with the proportions of the card, and then use one of the edges to decorate the inside. The rest of the papers are also from Quite Contrary (My Minds Eye).

The message of the front is from Wording Stamps set on to a Circle Tag. The inside is a Double Sayings -by the way the repetition of A has been eliminated on the proper run of stamps, this was just a trial set!- on top of a flower from the Shadow Monograms set.

Saturday 24 April 2010

Of mists

I know so many friends told me wonders about angel mists and glamour mists and whatever other name they may have. And yet, I only got my first Tattered Angel spray last March after seeing the beautiful work that my friend Julie had done using some striking mists. The lovely Glenda and Lynn from Elusive Images helped me to select a quartet and happily off I went.
And oh, boy, don't I just love them, I adore them. So I thought I better share this card I made the other day, just having a play. First I sprayed a A4 card with four colours -sorry but I forgot their proper names-, then I trim the sheet into smaller panels and then embossed one of them. Then I sanded the top off and voila. That beautiful background was created. In real life is even nicer as it has proper shimmer.
The rest I finished it off using leftovers from a previous work. And the message? One of my Big Sentiments.

Friday 23 April 2010

Big Sentiments Card

So you can see how the Big Sentiments are quite larger than their Mixed Sentiments counterparts. So if the original (Mixed) fit within the inner lines of the circle tags the larger ones will overlap with the inked borders of the tag. Does it make sense what I just wrote?
Anyway, I think you get the idea.
I stamped the circle tag first using Pixie Dust Versamagic ink and then the message on the top using Sepia Versafine -you can use any pigment ink for overlaying.
I stamped the border using one of the messages from the Mix & Match stamp set.
Once again I used My Minds eye papers from the Quite Contrary collection, available from Craftwork Cards.

Thursday 22 April 2010

Introducing Big Sentiments

Big Sentiments is another one stamp set that I did after some requests for a slightly larger sentiments.
In this set you get 19 -yes, nineteen- general essential messages. They are mostly the same ones featured in the Mixed Sentiments set so they can be combined perfectly but larger, as well as a few new ones -Happy Everything, Good Luck, Welcome Baby, Sorry, Hello, Miss You, Make a Wish.

So, how they compare? Well you have the same message side by side above. The one on the left is obviously from the Big set and the one on the right is from the Mixed Sentiments. Wether the Mixed fit in a 1" circle or square, the Big Sentiments will all fit in a 1 1/2".
-By the way, the little message is all stained as I used Archival inks which are similar as StazOn in the sense that will stain/colour the stamp. It is not dirty, the stamp will still stamp beautifully even with VersaMark. If you want to avoid staining just avoid Archival and StazOn Inks on any clear stamps.

The Big Sentiments fit into a 1 1/2" plain circle or a 1 3/4" Scalloped circle, but also in many more shapes as illustrated in this photo. Some of the messages will even fit into smaller circles and ovals.

If you would like to know which are my favorite ink pads when stamping with my clear stamp sets, click here.

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Mix and Match Card

Today, of course, focusing on the Mix and Match set.

So you can stamp a message several times in a row -or combine different ones- to create a printed ribbon sort of effect.

Or you can stamped it onto white or cream card to highlight the sentiment.

All the papers are from My Minds Eye, Quite Contrary. Click here for the papers, available from Craftwork Cards.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Introducing Mix & Match

One day I thought that I would like to have a variety of messages that fit into thin spaces that I could use alone or in combination with some of the other sets that I already had designed.

This set is NOT designed to fit in any particular punch, die cuts or shapes. They are all different lengths but they are all the same sort of height, so they all fit in the same strips of paper, ribbon...

Although it can be combined with the Double Saying set, none of the sayings are repeated in any of the sets.

A simple and small card using My Minds Eye papers. The message is stamped on the die cut edge.

And the inside it is stamped the same message again in a wave line and also an Essential Circle.

If you would like to know which are my favorite ink pads when stamping with my clear stamp sets, click here.

Monday 19 April 2010

Double Sayings and Shadow Monograms Tutorial

So start by stamping the Shadow Monogram using a soft colored ink.

It is so faint that you can barely see it, you can use slightly darker colors but softer ones are always going to be better for the shadow effect.

Stamp the message from the Double Sayings set using a black pigment ink.

And voila, that is what you get, a soft shadow monogram and a sharp message.

Punch it, cut it, trim it, using whatever methods you like or have available. Me, I like my punches, although this set is NOT designed to fit any particular punch, some of the sayings will do in a variety of them.

Then I attached it to a border -from the Dotty Border- that I stamped using the same color ink as the one from the monogram. And I decorated it using light blue pearls.

At the end, I changed the position of the message in relation to the border.
And this is the finished card, for which I have attached Prima papers from Craftwork Cards.

Sunday 18 April 2010

Introducing Double Sayings

This is Double Sayings for Personal Impressions, it is one of those sets that I have designed out of necessity. It may sound a bit over dramatic but it is the honest truth. As you may know I can and enjoy making card without a message, but since I have a thing for graphic design and type fonts, I really enjoy incorporating a sentiment into the main design of the card. But more often than not, I would not find the adequate small sentiment to fit into my card, so i started to design this set by taking note of all those messages I didn't seem to find, the list grew so much that I had to make two sets Mix and Match - which I will featured in a couple of days - and this one, Double Sayings.

The name of Double Sayings comes from the fact that you can combine two messages or sayings in one project, like the one above, as I already had used Mix & Match for the other set, Double Saying seemed like a good idea. I know I am not the best at coming with names and descriptions so I get very literal sometimes. However, most of this messages are good stand alone ones, so if you wish to use them alone you can.

And, because it would be sad to show you the front of the card, here it goes.

If you would like to know which are my favorite ink pads when stamping with my clear stamp sets, click here.

Saturday 17 April 2010

Dotty Borders Card: Birthday girl

For this card I created a background by stamped repeatedly one of the Dotty Borders. Being a clear stamp, positing is fairly easy as long as you maintain the stamp clean. To not overload the card I left the middle blank.

I punched out the aperture using a square punch, but you can cut it using a craft knife. It is important to punch first the pink card.

The detail inside is as follows: first stamp the Square Tag, then the flower and finally the monogram -the last two from the Shadow Monograms set. The message in the front is from Double Sayings.

Friday 16 April 2010

Introducing Dotty Borders

Borders and dots are something I can't not have enough, probably due to the fact that my most used card sketch features a straight line going across the card, perfect then for a border.

This set has 7 different borders that measure about 5 3/4" in length. The borders can be combined to create wider borders or even backgrounds.

Click here to find all the posts in this blog that featured Dotty Borders stamps.

The photo above is to illustrate the scale of the stamp.

And this is so you can see the individual sized dots on that same border compared to self adhesive pearls and crystals. The solid dots are 3mm and the larger ones about 5mm. One single rows of solid dots is also formed of 3mm dots. The smaller dotty one double ups as a piercing guide.

If you would like to know which are my favorite ink pads when stamping with my clear stamp sets, click here.

Thursday 15 April 2010

Oh, My!

For the first time my blog was featured on a printed magazine. The magazine is the biggest Cardmaking one in the UK, and had no idea about it which makes it even better.
It is part of a feature written by Jenny Cocks about making your own blog, and mine this very same that you are reading now, it is featured as a prime example as well as listed as one of the ones to visit.
It is featured in the new issue of the magazine.

Circle Tag Card

As I wanted to showcase how messages can be the focal point of your cards as well as afterthoughts, I decided to make the message appear to be slightly larger than it actually is. How? Simples, matting and layering and staring out with a larger circle.

First I stamped the tag using brown ink and then, using Versafine Spanish Moss ink, I stamped the message from the Mixed Sentiments set inside the tag. Remember all the messages in positive, the ones that are not in a circle, will fit in every single circle tag!
Then, I punched out the tag using the 1 1/2", layered it onto a dark brown 1 3/4" -from Stampin Up or also known as the original Whale of a punch Circle- circle punch and then all together onto a 2" Scallop circle.

This is the inside of the card, a bit more elaborate as I lately have been favoring.

A close up of the Circle Tag and the Essential Circle. I stamped each on a separate piece of card, I punched both using different sized punches, 1 3/8" for the tag and 1" for the Essential Circle or message.
The thanks for your support message is from the Mix and Match set.

The patterned die cut paper is from My Mind's Eye from The Glitter Pot.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Circle Tags Tutorial

Select your Circle Tag.

Use Black ink to stamp the tag onto white card.

Select a message from the set. They all fit in all the tags.

Stamp on the middle of the Circle Tag. Let it dry.
Now it is time to punch it out. Some tags are slightly smaller than others to have more versatility. However all of them can be punched with the 1 3/8" and 1 1/2" scalloped.

Using the 1 3/8" circle punch, from ekSuccess.

Using the 1 1/2" circle punch, from ekSuccess.

Using the 1 1/2" circle scallop punch from Woodware.

Using the 1 3/4" circle scallop punch, from Stampin Up.

Using the 1 1/8" circle punch, from ekSuccess.

Using the 1 1/16" or medium circle punch, from ekSuccess.

Using the 1" circle punch, from ekSuccess, but available from other manufacturers including Woodware.

Introducing Circle Tags

This is one set is Circle Tags, very original I know, and as usual it is made and distribute by Personal Impressions to shops all around the country. Like the Square Tags that I showed a couple of days ago it can be used with the original stamp set, Mixed Sentiments. Also, it incorporates seven more messages that complete the Mixed Sentiments set, as they are the same sort of size as the ones featured in that set.

The flowers are the same design as the ones that appears on the Square Tags, however this ones are singles so you can space them as you wish.

This set was part of the QVC set that was on air on the last Craft Day - the one that had Tim Holtz TSV on, 23rd of February - so some of you may have got it already. I am not sure if or when are they going to be on air again, so I would suggest if you like them and you see them in a shop get hold of them.


Although, as always, there are plenty of punches and dies that will work very nicely with this set, there are some that work best, so which ones fit better? I decided to simplify things when I was designing them and make them fit the best the same punches as the ones that fit All Year Round.

Here they are the best punches:

1 3/8" Circle Punch EkSuccess - works great with All Year Round and Circle Tags. At the minute the best way to get it is through Crafts U Love. Also, you can get it through Stampin Up demonstrators. If you don't know anyone let me know.

1 1/2" Scalloped Woodware Punch - works great with All Year Round and Circle Tags stamps as well as with the InCircles foiled die cut messages from Craftwork Cards.Because it is a rather new product, only a few weeks in this country, many shops haven't got it yet. But it is coming. As soon as a friendly shop stocks it I will let you all know.

But, and this is an important but, you can use other sized circle punches as a follow up tutorial later on today is going to show you.

If you would like to read which are my favorite inks to use with my clear stamps, click

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Square tags card

I will admit that my brain wasn't working on full power when I decided to take this photo, because, who on their right mind would have taken a photo of a black card with a black backdrop? Yep, just me. And lazy me I did not want to retake the photo, well in part due to the fact that I just could not as I did not have the card anymore.

Anyways. Back to the card and the Square Tag. Yes that light pink on the square is actually a stamped image, the reason that is so faint is because I stamped using the very lovely and soft Angel Kisses Memento ink, as I wanted to stamp on top one of the Big Sentiments, to highlight that even though they are not meant to fit in still look pretty good together.

The other message is from the Mix And Match set.
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