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Christmas 2017

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A Little Bit Spooky!

Hi folks,

So today I have spent my time creating a halloween card for a crafty challenge. As I do not have any halloween real stamps, I have used the digital images from Issue 9 of Crafters Companion magazine (Autumn 2016) as there were some Sheena Douglass Day of the Dead Digi-stamps on it as well as some other halloweeny type images and papers. I know some people have cd’s sitting at home feeling unloved because they belong to messy crafters so I am posting a guide for this one to show that even messy people can find joy in a digital image 🙂

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This is the finished card front and what we are working towards. As normal, the sparkle pen used on the spider and the skulls does not show on the photo, but it is there!

The first step in any computer crafting that will result in  a physical card, is to know your printer!! It is incredibly disappointing to create something that you are really happy with only to discover that you cannot print it.

The second is to decide what software to use. Depending on the disc you have, there may well be an embedded program that will mean you can resize and print directly from the disc. This is great if all you want to do is click and print to the preset sizes and build a project that way.; for what I have done here however, an actual graphics program is useful as some of the techniques I have used cannot be done on a program that is only designed to print out the image it sees.

I have used Serif (as this is my go to program) however you can also use My Craft Studio Elite to achieve the same results; the ‘Docrafts’ program does not have the right tools for what I have done here and if you are working with ‘word’ you will need to fussy cut the background cobwebs and stick them on…. probably not worth it….

Build your scene:

You will need to decide which elements you are going to want to use; I usually give myself a reasonable selection and then narrow them down further depending on how I like them when grouped with the other elements. You will need to import your chosen images into your graphics program. If you are not using Serif, please skip this next bit!

For Serif users, the quickest way to import your images is to do it from the ‘add photo’ tab at the left hand side of the program. When you click the ‘add’ button you will be taken to your current computer files; locate the disc you are using from the list on the left had side of the window which will have popped up, click on it and then click through the folders on the disc until you get to the image that you want. Either double-click the image (which will import it straight away) or single click the image and then click ‘choose’ in the bottom right hand corner of the file window. Your image will now be imported into the photo section of the program and you will be able to manipulate it to your hearts content. On a side note, you can also move images from the photo section into either ‘backgrounds’ or ‘materials’ by first dragging it out to the work space and then dragging it back in to the section you want it to appear in. The reason for doing so is so that it will then behave as a ‘background’/’material’ rather than as a photo.

If you are using My Craft Studio, then the files on your computer will already show on the left hand side of the program without needing a separate window; so just work your way through these files to the disc and then to the images that you want; you should then be able to double-click or drag them to use.

Once you have your images you are ready to scene build 🙂

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My initial scene build

So what have I got?

  • Background paper
  • 7 digi images

The background is a paper from the disc. As you can see, it is a more vibrant colour on my screen than the printout; this is where knowing what your printer will actually give you comes in handy. It is also worth a note about what you intend to print on. You will need to think about what you hope to do with the image once you have printed it which will then dictate what type of paper/card you will need.

For this project, I need something that will take heat embossing, distress inks, glue (for glitter) and also work well with my alcohol markers. Paper is too flimsy for heat embossing and glue and my general use ‘light card’ is not great for alcohol inks. I have therefore used the ‘My Craft Studio’ super smooth card as this will do all of the above; however what it wont do is go through my printer at A4 size. Fortunately, this is for an 8×8 card and my printer will take the card if it is cut down to 8×8 size, but again this is something you will want to sort out before you start creating to avoid angst later on 😉

A lot of digital images include white space, by which I mean that they are an image drawn onto a square/rectangle piece of digital paper. This means that if you layer them together you will have random white corners of this ‘paper’ blocking out parts of your other images; it also means that for images like the cobweb, you will have white spaces in-between the web lines rather than than the background you have chosen. This is where using a graphics program comes in handy. In Serif you can use the ‘cutout studio’ function to remove the white space. Some images will do this really well because they have been digitally created which means that the program will recognise all of the lines, for others the program isn’t quite so sure about which lines are which so you will need to help it a little. In MCS the corresponding tool is the scissor function; it will not recognise lines the way that the cutout studio does but you will still be able to use to eliminate white space.

My Build

  • Drag in the background and then lock the layer so that you can’t move it by accident!
  • Place the first cobweb
  • Copy and paste the cobweb another two times
  • Rotate, resize and switch the second two cobwebs as desired and layer onto backgounrd
  • Play around with the line depth and transparency of the cobwebs – the large cobweb at the bottom is a lot more faded than the other two
  • Layer on your other images, resizing as appropriate – this is an important part of the build; although the mummy, the spider and the two sentiments are printed separately to the rest they need to be included at this point to make sure that the sizes are correct

Once you are happy, you will need to remove the items that are not being included in the background print, however do not make the mistake of deleting them as you will then no longer have the images at the right size for your project. Just move them to the side of the print area. Both Serif and MCS have a scale to the bottom right hand of the program which you can use to zoom in or out of the print space; I find it useful to zoom out before moving my images off of the print space.

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Background print

This is the initial print-off, ready for me to play with!

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Glitzed up version; which is substantially more exciting than the original print

So what did I do?

  1. Stamped and heat embossed the latin words stamp several times
  2. Added distress ink – I tend to do this a lot with my printed backgrounds because they are not as vibrant when printed out as I would like so i tend to use a matching ink to warm it all up. For this project I have used Barn Door and Black Soot
  3. Coloured the ‘what lies beneath’ digi-stamp – you may have noticed that the black parts of the print-off were not particularly black, so I have gone over all of the solid black sections with ‘True Black’ and used DP4 for the lighter dark shadow areas. I shall puta full colour list at the bottom.
  4. Glittered the cobwebs – only some sections and in two different colours just to be interesting….
  5. Matted the background onto black card

The Elements

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All of these  have been fussy-cut; when choosing to do elements like this take a moment to consider how easy they will be to cut out… or not…

The Spider, Mummy and ‘Happy Halloween’ have all been coloured with SN; what you can’t see on the photo is that the Mummy also has red glitter eyes and both the spider and the happy halloween have some heat embossing on them.

On the Happy Halloween I have also used a red fine liner to go around some of the words to make them pop; them the whole has been ‘torn’ against a deckle edge ruler.

To finish

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If we take a last look at the finished piece, I have shaped the elements before sticking them on (pinflair 3d glue) then added some Nuvo drops both as actual drops, but also along some of the edges of the card to mimic blood (urgh!).

Disclaimers (hehe)

The light caught against some of the shinier bits of the card so the finish photo is actually a little brighter than the real thing; the background photo from earlier is a better colour match. This photo also doesn’t show the height on some of the elements, in particular the spiders legs which I have curved right up and over.

Really observant people may have noticed that my Mummy suddenly has a couple of blood splotches on his bandages; this was an accident as my finger tips appear to have picked up some distress ink from nowhere and dumped it on my Mummy 😡

I hope you all like this one; I did 😉

Spectrum Noir Colours:

  • EB1,2 & 7 – Mummy and all bones
  • DP4,3 PV1 – Spider and all ‘torn’ paper and shadows
  • True Black – Deep Shadows

Holiday Project

Hello to all! I have been on holiday from work this week so I have been spending some quality crafting time (despite the bad weather) with various bits and bobs. While most of what I have been doing has just been playing, I was inspired by a fellow crafter to create a project that was a little more ambitious than a single card front; et voila!

The top picture is of the card closed, it then opens out into an extended concertina card as pictured below

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The majority of the elements are from Sheena Douglass’ Time Traveller range, but I have added in a couple of extra bits 😉

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Front Cover

From the new ‘Call of The Wild’ Range by Sheena Douglass

This is the image stamped; heat embossed and then fussy cut (as I do not yet have the matching die) I have then coloured it using distress inks and a little bit of spectrum sparkle with a finishing touch of Twinkling H2O for the white bits of the feathers. The sentiment is from the same stamp set and the torn edges on both this and all of the other torn edges in this piece are created using a deckle edge tearing ruler.

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Section one is the time machine  balloon die which is again coloured with spectrum sparkle and distress inks, however I have also used a little gilding wax.  I will list all of the colours etc at the bottom of the post.

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For Section Two I have used a patterned paper as my base and then added in some chain stamps (For the love of stamps) and a compass die (Tonic). The rest is still the Time Traveller range. I wanted to make the cogs and the ‘Thingamabob’ a little more interesting so I have used a combination of embossing powders and gilding wax to create different looks; I have also used some Frantage embossing powder (this is a thicker powder) which has given  the mottled effect on the ‘Thingamabob’. As I was covering most of this is embossing powder I didn’t put much effort into colouring it; it is mostly a distress ink wash although I have used pencils to colour the fin and the umbrella.

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Section Three is a pocket with a blank tag for a personal message; the quill and inkpot are also Sheena Stamps but from the 2016 Christmas range.

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Section Four is very similar to Section two; again I have used a patterned base card and then embellished it; the clocks and cogs are embossed the same way as in section two, with the pocket watch face being coloured with distress ink.

Finally…

Section Five is what the whole project was based on!

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I coloured this Time Traveller lady several months ago now but couldn’t decide how to place her. Hopefully, this project will have done justice to the beauty of this stamp 🙂

Materials:

Time Traveller Range:

  • Thingamabob Stamp Set
  • Steam Punk Woman Stamp Set
  • Timepieces Stamp Set and matching die set
  • Geared Up Stamp Set and matching die set
  • Make Time die

Call of the Wild Range – Dare to Dream Stamp Set

For the Love of Stamps – Time to Celebrate Stamp Set

Distress Inks:

  • Aged Mahogany
  • Peacock Feathers
  • Vintage Photo
  • Walnut Stain
  • Black Soot

Other:

  • ‘Ocean Wave’ Spectrum Sparkle
  • ‘Calypso’ WoW embossing powder
  • ‘Rose gold’ WoW embossing powder
  • Frantage embossing powder
  • Oil Pencils
  • Tearing Ruler
  • Pebeo gilding wax
  • Adhesive gems
  • ‘Gold’ Ranger Liquid Pearls
  • Black Card
  • HunkyDory Map Paper
  • Graphic Arts paper pad (base card)
  • Ribbon
  • Tonic Compass Die

 

More Stamping! or possibly more Christmas…

Carrying on the challenge, I have three new entries which are also all going into my Christmas stash!

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So this one is using a Phil Martin stamp which is the phone and the text message icons; I’ve then added in some christmassy stuff to make it a little more seasonal. The ‘Noel’ is from an Indigo Blu set which I got right at the beginning of my crafty habit and is still one of my favourite sets.

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This happy little penguin is from Whimsy Stamps; on this one I have coloured it with pencils but I may well do several of him in different mediums because he is so cute…

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And Finally, this is one where I had no idea at all where I was going with it until I did; the snowflakes are a Honey Doo Stamp set from last year which I have heat embossed with a Wow! diamond sparkles. This is the first time out for this embossing powder and I have to say I am impressed! As is often the case, the photo does not due justice to the level of sparkle on this card and having also used Papermania’s Snowflake embossing powder my experience is that this one gives better image coverage with a more even sparkle – however this may just be luck of the draw. I have used distress inks to give the snowflakes some definition, however I then felt that the bottom left corner was looking a bit empty so I added this cute little stamp. I had a horrible moment after stamping when I realised that I had stamped in versafine instead of momento; the card I used here would not work well with watercolours so I decided to use my alcohol markers as planned and hope for the best. I think I have gotten away with it… (hurrah). I have also extended the ground line of the stamp out to the edge of the card so that the image wasn’t floating so much. The ‘Merry Christmas’ is from the same set as the ‘Noel’.

I hope you all like my fun stuff, I certainly enjoyed making it 🙂 – Keep it Crafty!

Just for Weirdchild…

…because I love her too much to see her fail, I have decided to extend the challenge!! (i’m sure she’ll be grateful)

In the meantime, a couple of shares from me as my beautiful kiddies are now back at school so I have more crafty time available 🙂

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This is a lovely Crafters Companion stamp which is coloured with oil pencils, distress ink and foiling for some pretty accents which was commissioned last week; however I am also including it a one of my challenge entries.

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My second is another wedding card featuring a Lili of the Valley digi-stamp; a Sheena stamp and a variety of dies which I will list below. I have also used a mixture of sequins, gems, hard pearls and liquid pearls; the tag in the small pocket die is also removable both for added interest and to make it easier to write on.

Base Materials:

  • Crafters Companion gatefold card blank
  • My Craft Studio Super Smooth Card
  • Create and Craft Mirricard
  • Sheena Douglass Stamping Card
  • Marble Paper

Colouring Mediums:

  • SN Alcohol Markers
  • Crafters Companion Sparkle Pens
  • Distress Ink (Vintage photo)

Dies:

  • TL Flower Panel
  • TL Gold Lace Butterfly
  • Heart felt Creations small Pocket Die
  • Crafters Companion Lacy Daisy Die

Embellishments:

  • Craftmania Sequins
  • Hunkydory Glitter
  • Ranger Liquid pearl
  • Adhesive Pearls and Gems
  • Ribbon

More Stamping!

With the Summer holidays almost over I am trying to squish a couple of extra photos into the challenge; unfortunately I have had to abandon a couple for looking a bit rubbish, but I am happy with the two below so felt they were worth posting 🙂

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This is a lovely Crafters Companion stamp which I have used before but felt was well worth using again.I used polycolours and extended the scene around the stamp to fill the topper space. I have also cleverly covered up an unfortunate ink smudge with a ribbon 😉

 

This second one is a Lili of the valley digistamp; also coloured with polycolours but with wp-image-1923221322some Wink of Stella glitter pen; glue drops to which I have added some glitter and some foiling (difficult to see on the photo) and a couple of liquid drops for the hair and toe bells. This particular one had two rescues, the first being that I over coloured my fairy’s face, which I managed to fix using a rubber (proper artists putty rubber, not a hard pencil eraser) which worked very well and the second being that although I have a stamping platform I forgot to use it, so when the sentiment only half stamped I had to try and line it back up. As is nearly always the case I ended up with a ghost image of some of the sentiment, but this has been covered by adding a green shadow effect to the text.