I had bought a new tunic top for a retirement party but the neckline was a bit low for my liking. It needed a nice necklace to set it off. The top was mainly black with shades of brown, so a necklace in these colours would be perfect. I raided my plastics collection to see what I could find. The very dark brown was from coffee jar lids, the semi-transparent brown from a mouthwash bottle, the mustardy one from a tablet bottle, & the pale brown one from a ‘Coffee Mate’ lid. I knew I had a selection of black & coppery jewellery findings which would have been ideal, but they were obviously hiding somewhere out of sight. Unfortunately, as it was the night before the party I didn’t have time to search for them so I just tied the ‘beads’ together with waxed cotton, & did the same for the closure. This looked OK & worked well to join the ‘beads’ but I would need to find a more robust closure. Now where did I put those findings?
The theme for this months challenge was the colour blue & an umbrella. I originally wanted to use my Tim Holtz Umbrella Man, but as I am doing ATC-sized pictures the die-cut was too big. The stamp just fitted but there would have been no room for any words. Instead I opted for the Spellbinders In’spire umbrella die.
I cut a black ATC & randomly daubed it with blue acrylic paint. I then dabbed Salty Ocean & Brushed Pewter distress paints on & spritzed it with water. Once dry I mounted it on blue card. I cut the umbrella from silver card & printed the words using a dymo Letra tag label maker on silver tape. I used Deco Art liquid glass to simulate raindrops on the umbrella.
I was asked to make a 50th birthday card for a secretary who likes shopping. I have made a few cards for secretaries using the Tim Holtz alterations typewriter die, which I love. I recently bought this new, smaller typewriter die from In’spire by Spellbinders, & couldn’t wait to try it out. I also just bought some thin wood sheets from EK Success. They are thin enough to cut with punches so die-cutting was easy. They are a bit flimsy so I stuck the wood sheet to a double-sided adhesive sheet before die-cutting. This strengthened the wood & also made it easy to stick to the card. For the keys I cut the shape again from pearlised card & stuck the individual keys into the corresponding holes on the wooden typewriter. This was a bit fiddly but the result was worth it. The bags are from a selection of dies: Quickutz, Memory Box & Bosskut.
This month the Craft Barn calendar challenge must contain RABBITS & the colour YELLOW. Anyone that knows me knows that I am not at all into ‘cute’ & I don’t own any cute fluffy bunny embellishments. I was stumped for a bit as I have set myself a personal challenge to try & use what I’ve got in my stash for this challenge & not go & buy anything new, especially something I wouldn’t ever use again. Then I remembered a Playboy Bunny die I had & the challenge was on again.
I am continuing my theme of using ATC size pictures each month, which will eventually be mounted on a 12 x 12 board with a (detachable) calendar tab so it can be used again.
I make a lot of patchwork cards which are great for using up all those wee scraps of paper I can’t bear to throw away; so I used the same idea for my ATC. I cut the bunny head from black card & mounted it in the centre. The burlap flower was a late addition. I happened to buy a packet of burlap flowers from The Works today. They were very cheap & I could see potential there. They had a (not very well centred) gem for the middle, which I removed & attached the flower with a brad.
This month the Craft Barn Calendar Challenge must include ‘hearts’ & the colour ‘red’. For this months ATC I cut the base ATC from black card & dabbed red paint over it with a cotton bud. I then stamped & embossed Technique Tuesday’s ‘Love Makes The World Go Round’ steampunk-style heart. I printed the word February with Dymo tape & coloured the letters red. The actual quote which came with the stamp set was too small so I typed the words out on red paper, cut them out & matted them on black paper. I then attached a felt & fabric flower with a ‘screw’ brad which I coloured black. I then matted the whole ATC on red paper. Eventually all 12 colourful ATCs will be mounted on a black 12 x 12 canvas or board with a removable calendar tab on the bottom so it can be used for any year, or just mounted as a picture.
I didn’t want to make a spiral calendar as I like to use a lot of embellishments which would make the pages too bulky to lie flat.
I have always admired ATCs as, although they are small, they are very effective. So I decided to make my calendar as 12 separate ATCs to be mounted on a 12″ x 12″ board. A separate calendar tab can be hung on the bottom if desired. This makes it more a piece of artwork that is not just confined to one year.
January challenge is aqua & snowflakes
I raided my ‘blue / green’ scrap paper drawer for suitable paper. Since they are all scraps, I’m not sure where they came from. I do know that the butterfly paper at the bottom is from the DCWV Street Lace pad. I cut the snowflake from black glitter card using the Quickutz snowflake die. The stamped quote is part of a stamp from the Dylusions the Right Words set. The word January is cut from a newspaper. Small button, brads & ribbon from my stash. It might look a bit insignificant on its own but I am visualising the end result of 12 brightly coloured ATCs mounted on a black background.
Every year I say I’m going to start making my Christmas cards in July, to avoid the inevitable last minute panic & that ‘I never want to see another Christmas card again’ feeling, & every year I never do it. As usual I vow not to buy any more Christmas stash but I always do & most of it lies unopened & unused. Maybe if I make a card a week then I’ll be organised by December, & I’ll have plenty time to try out different ideas.
My first card is an idea I have wanted to do for a while. I cut snowman shapes from old book pages & mounted them on a kraft card which had been randomly dotted with blobs of white acrylic paint. Simple but effective. I’ll definitely make more of these.
The second card came about as I had a set of nesting holly leaf dies that I bought last Christmas & never used. I cut the leaves from tartan card, edged with gold, & sewed on a red button for the berry. The greeting is cut with my new Dreamweaver alphabet dies that I just had to try out. Again, simple but effective.
A few weeks ago I was excited to get hold of some 5 1/2 inch floppy disks to make notebooks. This week I am even more excited to get my hands on some big 8 inch floppies. Like their 5 1/2 inch relatives, they too are truly floppy so I covered a batch of 8 inch greyboards for the backs.
I cut 20cm pages, which were just slightly smaller than the 8 inch covers, & added an embellishment to the inside to show through the centre hole.
Now my floppy disk notebook family is complete.
Post-It notes are no longer the rather boring dull yellow. They now come in lots of zingy fluorescent shades that deserve to be shown off. Because the colours are so bright, they are set off beautifully by plain black card. I have seen a few tutorials on making string & button closures but it took a few attempts before I liked the result. I first used stardream card for the ‘button’ but it easily got frayed by the string. I then tried to raise the button before attaching but it still frayed the edges. Finally I cut the buttons from bits of plastic which were more durable. I wanted to use plastic from old milk bottles with coloured eyelets to match the paper but my coloured eyelets are not a very good make & don’t set very neatly. So I opted for plain gunmetal eyelets & cut thee plastic ‘buttons’ from coloured toiletries bottles. At last – a look I was satisfied with!
Thick felt is brilliant for making small notebooks & is flexible enough for Japanese-bound books but is too floppy to use for both the back & front covers. So I covered board in book cloth & just used the felt for the front cover. I was worried that it would tear at the binding holes so I reinforced the bound edge with a strip of stiffened felt. I cut the scottie dogs from the same stiffened felt, & sewed them on. The brad ‘eye’ is a perfect size.